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David Maples

The Future of Online Authentication

Last week, Yubico delivered a glimpse into the future of online authentication with a presentation at Mozilla. If you missed the live talk about FIDO Alliance Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) and in-the-browser authentication for the mass market, please watch the archived video below.

In the 60 minute presentation, Yubico discusses the motivation behind U2F, provides a demo of U2F in action, explains the user privacy and security issues that are addressed, highlights the importance of browser support for U2F and dives into some key details about the protocol.

FIDO Alliance U2F is a new, open authentication standard focused on adding public-key cryptography to existing password authentication mechanisms, offering high security with friction-less user experience. U2F represents a crucial step in driving the rapid adoption of strong authentication technology, where the user will be able to use a simple password/passcode, which even if compromised, does not compromise the user’s identity. The elegance of the protocol lies in the fact that the user in possession of the authenticator can authenticate to any number of web-based services using only one device, without the need to install any drivers or client software. The added benefit of U2F also lies in the simplicity of how this protocol can be easily integrated into an existing password authentication model.

For more background on Yubico’s work with the FIDO Alliance and the future YubiKey NEO with U2F, please visit here.