HMAC-based One-time Password algorithm (HOTP) is a one-time password (OTP) algorithm based on hash-based message authentication codes (HMAC). It is a cornerstone of the Initiative for Open Authentication (OATH).
HOTP was published as an informational IETF RFC 4226 in December 2005, documenting the algorithm along with a Java implementation. Since then, the algorithm has been adopted by many companies worldwide (see below). The HOTP algorithm is a freely available open standard.
The HOTP algorithm provides a method of authentication by symmetric generation of human-readable passwords, or values, each used for only one authentication attempt. The one-time property leads directly from the single use of each counter value.