Why does the YubiKey act as a keyboard?

To allow the YubiKey to be compatible across multiple hardware platforms and Operating Systems, the YubiKey acts as a USB keyboard to the OS. This design provides several advantages including:

  1. Virtually all mainstream Operating Systems have built-in USB keyboard support.
  2. Since the YubiKey uses generic keyboard drivers, there are no special drivers that need to be installed to use the YubiKey.
  3. In organizations where USB ports are blocked for security concerns the use of USB keyboards, and thus the YubiKey, is still permitted.
  4. The user does not have to manually enter a OTP generated by the authentication device on the authentication screen by the application(s). The YubiKey user simply needs to click in the input field for the OTP and touch the YubiKey button briefly. In addition to reducing the time spent on authentication, this also assists in avoiding potential human errors while typing in the OTP.

Posted in: 2. The YubiKey