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Tue, Jun 8, 2021 10:37 PM

What is going on with the new authentication requirements?

Yesterday my att mailbox suddenly stopped working on all of my devices. I spent several hours today attempting to fix it. Eventually I got it working by creating a new secure key, but I'm still scratching my head over what exactly happened, if it will happen again, if making a secure key was the "proper" fix, and the support site's rather interesting design. If anyone could shine some light on the below points, that would be much appreciated, and not just by me. Based on recent posts to this forum, this wasn't an isolated incident.

-First off, why did this happen in the first place? I didn't mess with settings or whatnot until everything broke. The log files reported INVALID CREDENTIALS errors which led me to believe it might be related to security requirement.

-AT&T's site talks about increased security requirements (either OAuth or secure keys) becoming mandatory at some point but is very vague about when that's supposed to happen. If they planned at date in advance you'd expect them to send a lot of reminders for anyone who was still insecure. But (in my case at least) I didn't seem to get any.

-A very similar problem popped up a while ago (1 year give or take.) Unfortunately I can't remember exactly what happened or how I managed to fix it. Couldn't find any clues in my browser history either. I'm 90% that issue was also related to security stuff, but if it was fixed then why did it break now?

-Someone on this forum mentioned something about secure keys expiring after a period of time. Anyone know if this is true? It would explain a lot.

-Are there any negatives to using secure keys instead of OAuth? I'm not planning on using this email with 3rd-party apps or untrusted devices by the way.

-Does anyone know of a working guide on how to setup/configure OAuth? AT&T's guide links you to the troubleshooting tool, which links back to the guide. I tried searching everywhere via Google but couldn't find anything off the bat. My mail clients just the Apple-provided ones which should support it (and I do have the right version.)

-What the (Edited per community guidelines) is up with AT&T's site? Is it possessed? I tried accessing my profile page (to get a secure key) but it just kept refreshing every 3 seconds until I closed the tab after 30 seconds of that. The page only loaded on a separate computer with a different browser, but the secure key page was mysteriously empty of any content. A good while later I was about to call tech support when everything suddenly started working properly (on both computers), presumably due to magic. Has anyone else had similar issues?

In the end this fix (make a secure key and put it in the password field) was quite simple. The process of finding it was certainly not though. Thankfully I didn't have anything going on and could spend most of the afternoon figuring this all out. Other people might not have time to spare or the necessary technology intuition though. AT&T should really improve their guides and try to alert people that stuff needs to be changed before it breaks.

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