Apple has joined the Fast Identity Online Alliance (FIDO), an open industrial association that aims to develop and promote ever stronger and more secure authentication standards, so as to help reduce the excessive dependence of the world on passwords.
Apple joins existing members, such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung and others, to pursue a common goal, that of protecting online connections and supporting the adoption of the U2F authentication standard, supported by the alliance.
The Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) is an open standard that strengthens and simplifies two-factor authentication (2FA) using specialized USB or NFC (Special Field Communication Communication) devices, based on security technologies similar to those found in smart cards. U2F security keys can be used as an additional two-step verification method in online services that support this U2F protocol, such as Google, Dropbox and Facebook.
The Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera browsers, moreover, natively support the U2F standard. With iOS 13.3, Apple's Safari also supports FIDO2-compliant physical security keys, such as the Lightning-equipped YubiKey.
With Safari support, YubiKey 5Ci is a useful and practical tool for two-factor authentication, based on software, and therefore does not require you to enter a security code: just connect the key to an iPhone or Mac (there is also the version with USB-C connector) for authentication. Remember, again, that support for FIDO2 compliant USB security keys via WebAuthn have also been previously added to Safari 13 on macOS.
FIDO was founded in 2013 by a group of companies, including Lenovo and Paypal, to address the lack of interoperability between strong authentication. The French site MacGeneration has identified the Apple logo added to the list of members of the FIDO Alliance.
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