Google today announced on its security blog an extra layer of security for Google Accounts based on the emerging strong authentication standard; Universal 2nd Factor or U2F.
This is a good day for the Internet.
As a driving contributor to FIDO U2F specifications, Yubico celebrates this big day by releasing a new blue campaign version of our YubiKey that is designed to work with U2F support Google has added to Chrome. This U2F-only Security Key, as well as our multi-technology YubiKey NEO, pioneers the market for U2F devices.
This U2F support is a milestone in a standards journey that began a couple of years ago. Along with Internet thought leaders, we recognized the advantages of high-security, public key cryptography for scalability and for protecting against advanced Trojans, phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks. With a mission to make great security available for every Internet user, we decided to focus on the essential; to keep it really lean.
Below is a short summary of the main differentiators between U2F security keys and traditional smart card- and hardware-based authentication devices:
- No need for drivers, client software and middleware – Uses native drivers and built-in support directly into the browser. No installation, no configuration – just works !
- Highly scalable while protecting your privacy – Generates a new set of encryption keys for every service, that is only stored on the specific service it connects to. With this approach no secrets are shared among service providers, and even low-cost security keys can support any number of services.
- Great user experience – To register and authenticate, all it takes is a simple touch of a button!
In January 2013 Wired Magazine first wrote about the U2F project. As a response to all the inquiries Yubico received, we published a blog summarizing our vision of a single key for securing access to all Internet. Since then, U2F has continued to develop within the FIDO Alliance open standards consortium.
And now our vision has been turned into reality.
You can get your own FIDO U2F Security Key today at Amazon.com. A key that you own and control allowing you to securely login into your Google Account, which lets you access services such as Gmail. The same is true for any number of service providers who choose to adopt simple and strong Universal 2nd Factor authentication.
A special thanks to everyone in the FIDO Alliance working groups for making this happen!