The ISC Project protects human rights reporting with the YubiKey

YubiKeys secured access to Google Apps.

Industry

News / Media

Protocols

Yubico OTP, FIDO U2F, Static Password

Products

YubiKey 4 and YubiKey NEO

Deployment

Civil Society Organizations and Individuals

About The ISC Project

The Information Safety & Capacity (ISC) Project provides advanced, sustained information security and capacity building assistance to civil society organizations, human rights activists, and independent media in countries where free expression, journalistic reporting, online communications, and advocacy are at risk.



The need for a more secure and reliable 2FA solution

Many of ISC’s partners are journalists and activists who are frequent targets of hacking because of their work. In many cases hackers know how to successfully attack traditional two-factor authentication (2FA) systems by making duplicate SIM cards or luring users to phishing websites that trick the user into revealing the second factor. Through these and other methods, many journalists have had their email and other accounts hacked. This has often resulted in their private information being stolen and used to discredit their activism.

To help protect email and other communications, The ISC Project wanted to help their stakeholders protect access to email accounts and online apps. 2FA had not been successful in the past because users were required to continuously change time-based tokens, which was not a practical approach. As a result, the ISC Project wanted to implement a strong and reliable 2FA solution that would be easy to deploy and easy to use without a lot of training or technical expertise on the part of the end user.


“The YubiKey and its unique key-shaped design, provides  a very easy-to-understand analogy to how people commonly use keys in everyday life.”


The YubiKey helps journalists secure confidential data sources

The organization found the solution for simple, secure authentication in the YubiKey and its integration with Google Apps. According to ISC, “Yubico’s collaboration with Google Apps takes authentication to a whole new level. The ISC Project has worked with our partners to use Google Apps and move their email servers outside of their countries. This is important because many of them are at risk of office raids where confiscation of their email servers would disrupt their operations and expose sensitive conversations that could lead to targeted harassment or re-victimization of their network of trusted contacts.”

The ISC Project introduced the members of the organization to the YubiKey, and staff began immediately using the YubiKey to secure Google accounts. The organization then began using the YubiKey to secure login to the admin panels of online infrastructure.



The YubiKey helps make demanding work a little easier and a lot more secure

With the help of YubiKey, the ISC Project can help human rights activists and journalists do their important work in a more secure way and with greater peace of mind. “Thanks to the unique key-shaped design of  the YubiKey, there is a very easy-to-understand analogy to how people commonly use keys in everyday life to secure valuable assets.” This means their stakeholders can focus on their work knowing their sources and critical reporting are secure without having to worry about the technological backend.