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Liferay Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

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  • Liferay provides default authentication mechanism (with username and password).
  • In some scenarios we might required to provide other methods to identify User’s claimed identity.
  • MFA could be achieved in various ways like
    • 2FA
    • 3FA
  • Liferay doesn’t support this feature by Out of the box. This can be achieved with minor tweaks to Liferay.



We need implement 3 modules in order to achieve MFA with in Liferay. We used Liferay 7.0 CE to implement this module.

  • Service Builder
    • To persist information of MFA passcode and status of the passcode execution.
    • Audit incidents related to MFA activities.
  • Authentication Module
    • This module is to extend Liferay authentication functionality in order to stop user access after initial login process
  • Filter
    • To accept MFA request from SMS or an email link

Let’s see how this has been implemented

Service Builder

  • As mentioned above this is used to persist MFA records in our database. Please refer Service Builder full documentation here
  • Typically service.xml file contain below schema
<service-builder package-path="com.webakte.mfa">
    <entity local-service="true" name="Mfa" table="wk_mfa" remote-service="true" uuid="true">
        <column name="mfaId" primary="true" type="long" />
        <column name="userId" type="long" />
        <column name="custUniqueId" type="String" />
        <column name="orgId" type="long" />
        <column name="createDate" type="Date" />
        <column name="modifiedDate" type="Date" />
        <column name="verificationType" type="String" />
        <column name="verificationData" type="String" />
        <column name="mfaType" type="String" />
        <column name="expirationDate" type="Date" />
        <column name="status" type="String" />
  • For each new login, we are creating mfa record in this table and maintaining the status for login.
  • Whenever user accepts link or fully authenticated then status will be updated to success.

MFA Authentication module :

  • This module concentrates on extending default Liferay authentication by keeping an additional layer on top of it.

  • We need to implement below in this module
    • Override MVC Action command
      • Which will be triggered after user logged into the portal. And validates the user whether he has MFA configured by checking his Role.
      • If MFA not configured then he can access the portal.
      • If MFA configured then a mfa link will be sent through the configured channels.
      • One session variable (canAccess) updated with false
MFA Validator
  • MFA Validator is a servlet filter and this class is reponsible to restricts user access by checking the session variable (canAccess).
  • If session variable validates as TRUE then true then it will be redirected to portal or else it will be redirected to MFA status page.
  • Use below properties in filter configuation
MFA Resend Filter
  • MFA Resend Filter is used to resend notification link through configured channels.

MFA Status Check Filter
  • This filter will be called every one minute from mfa Verification.jsp

  • Logic behind this filter is to validate Session variable continuously and provide response to mfaVerification.jsp file for required navigation.

MFA Verification Filter
  • This filter executes its business logic when user clicks on verification link.

  • MFA verification filter is responsible to to update session variable (canAccess) as true or false and also it validates the link whether it is expired or not.

MFA Hook

  • Required to implement 2 JSPs
  • This page will be shown to user until they are authorized (by clicking on verification link).
  • After clicking the verification link, the user will be redirected to status.jsp which shows the status as successfully authenticated or failed to authenticate or verification link was expired.

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