Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting Configuration Guide, Cisco IOS Release 15M&T
Token Authentication
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Token Authentication

Token Authentication

The Token Authentication feature allows you to secure the authentication mechanism by protecting it with a temporary authentication access. This feature increases the security to the network by providing a time-bound access without revealing the password to the login user.

Finding Feature Information

Your software release may not support all the features documented in this module. For the latest caveats and feature information, see Bug Search Tool and the release notes for your platform and software release. To find information about the features documented in this module, and to see a list of the releases in which each feature is supported, see the feature information table at the end of this module.

Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find information about platform support and Cisco software image support. To access Cisco Feature Navigator, go to www.cisco.com/​go/​cfn. An account on Cisco.com is not required.

Prerequisites for Token Authentication

  • Ensure that AAA authentication is configured on the device. For more information, see the “Configuring Authentication” chapter in the Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting Configuration Guide.
  • You must configure the user account using the token keyword before configuring the token authentication.

Restrictions for Token Authentication

  • The Token Authentication feature requires the Connected Grid (CG) network management system (NMS) to generate the authentication token.

Information About Token Authentication

Token Authentication Overview

Token Authentication is a method to provide a device-bound and time-bound access to a Cisco IOS device that is offline and therefore not able to reach the AAA database for a proper authentication. The access is unauthenticated and should be used in caution, in particular the privilege level granted to the session.

Token authentication can configure the privilege level for the technician to grant access for any operation on the device. This feature is used to grant a technician access to the Cisco IOS device to perform simple device management such as statistics collection or even restarting an interface while the Cisco IOS device is in an error state and disconnected from the rest of the network.

The local technician accounts are authorized with a temporary time-bound authentication token without exposing the password. The token structure is encrypted and not visible to the technician. The technician uses this encrypted token as the password.

The generated token is encrypted with the token encryption key and provided to the technician. Once the temporary time-bound authentication token is used as the login credential, it is decrypted and verified by the local AAA database by using the token encryption key.

The network security is protected by ensuring that the technician is given access to the network after authenticating the technician’s token credentials (shared by the Connected Grid [CG] network management system [NMS] and the device). In addition, this access is for a limited time period that is embedded inside the token structure. Beyond that specific time period in which the token is valid, the technician’s session is disconnected and no future network session is allowed with the same token.

How to Configure Token Authentication

Configuring Token Authentication

SUMMARY STEPS

    1.    enable

    2.    configure terminal

    3.    username name [privilege level] token password encryption-type password

    4.    aaa new-model

    5.    aaa authentication login default method1 [method2 ...]

    6.    aaa authentication token key string

    7.    exit


DETAILED STEPS
     Command or ActionPurpose
    Step 1 enable


    Example:
    Device> enable
     

    Enables privileged EXEC mode.

    • Enter your password if prompted.
     
    Step 2 configure terminal


    Example:
    Device# configure terminal
     

    Enters global configuration mode.

     
    Step 3 username name [privilege level] token password encryption-type password


    Example:
    Device(config)# username user1 privilege 1 token password 0 cisco123
     

    Establishes a username-based authentication system.

     
    Step 4 aaa new-model


    Example:
    Device(config)# aaa new-model
     

    Enables authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) network security services.

     
    Step 5 aaa authentication login default method1 [method2 ...]


    Example:
    Device(config)# aaa authentication login default local
     

    Sets AAA authentication at login.

     
    Step 6 aaa authentication token key string


    Example:
    Device(config)# aaa authentication token key abcdefghcisco123
     

    Creates a token authentication key to provide temporary access to the network.

     
    Step 7 exit


    Example:
    Device(config)# exit
     

    Exits global configuration mode.

     

    Configuration Examples for Token Authentication

    Example: Configuring Token Authentication Key

    Device> enable
    Device# configure terminal
    Device(config)# username user1 privilege 1 token password 0 cisco123
    Device(config)# aaa new-model
    Device(config)# aaa authentication login default local
    Device(config)# aaa authentication token key abcdefghcisco123
    Device(config)# exit
    
    

    Additional References for Token Authentication

    Related Documents

    Related Topic

    Document Title

    Cisco IOS commands

    Cisco IOS Master Command List, All Releases

    Security commands

    AAA authentication

    “Configuring Authentication” chapter in the Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting Configuration Guide

    Technical Assistance

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    Feature Information for Token Authentication

    The following table provides release information about the feature or features described in this module. This table lists only the software release that introduced support for a given feature in a given software release train. Unless noted otherwise, subsequent releases of that software release train also support that feature.

    Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find information about platform support and Cisco software image support. To access Cisco Feature Navigator, go to www.cisco.com/​go/​cfn. An account on Cisco.com is not required.

    Table 1 Feature Information for Token Authentication

    Feature Name

    Releases

    Feature Information

    Token Authentication

    15.4(1)T

    The Token Authentication feature allows you to secure the authentication mechanism by protecting it with a temporary authentication access. This feature increases the security to the network by providing a time-bound access without revealing the password to the login user.

    The following command was introduced or modified: aaa authentication token key.