Rarely, tech giants Google, Apple, and Microsoft have decided to team up for a future without passwords. Instead, they want to rely on a new form of connection called FIDO.
Yesterday was World Password Day. An increasingly sensitive subject among Internet users, who are multiplying accounts on online platforms at the same time as the risks of hacking and account theft. On this occasion the three technology giants have announced their joint commitment for a password-free future.
The subject comes up regularly and even if it has become much easier to connect, the password remains unavoidable ; much to the chagrin of many netizens. To avoid holding it back or going through a manager, many still do not opt for a robust combination. The three members of GAFAM are in the front row and now want rush the end of that good old password. In a press release, the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) alliance announced yesterday, Thursday May 5, that it was working hand in hand with Google, Apple and Microsoft to develop “a new common passwordless login standard”.
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One standard to secure them all
To provide a passwordless future, Apple, Google and Microsoft are choosing to support the connection standard without password developed by the FIDO Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium. Announced in 2018, the technology WebAuthn (Web Authentication) evolved to become a standard for authentication on which the three giants now want to rely. With this new feature, Internet users will be able to authenticate “on websites and mobile apps easily, password-free and secure, regardless of device or operating system.”
A major step forward which will concern Android, iOS, macOS or Windows, as well as Chrome, Safari and Edge browsers. The three technology giants intend to implement this new system within 12 months on their respective platforms, although little information has been specified for the moment.
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In fact, the three companies have been trying for years to make us forget these famous codes. On our smartphones or PCs, the biometrics is mobilized and it is already possible to authenticate via fingerprint, voice, iris scan or facial recognition. These devices are deemed secure for users and aim to make life more difficult for hackers. However, you usually need to log in with a password before you can enable these options. The new agreement plans to eliminate this step, even offering the possibility of using this FIDO authentication for connect to a nearby deviceregardless of the OS or browser.
Been a little heads down on this today but so happy to share this milestone on our collective journey to #passwordless – on this day no less! Amazing collaboration from our FIDO members, Microsoft, Apple and Google to make this happen! https://t.co/hWN5MjyT6s pic.twitter.com/5kAuvgoLap
—Megan Shamas (@MegTechPR) May 5, 2022
In addition, the FIDO alliance not limited to biometrics and also relies on USB security keys, Bluetooth and NFC technologies; and even TPM (Trusted Platform Module) embedded chips.
The method also protects against phishing and avoids entering a one-time password or access code sent by SMS. In addition, two-factor authentication proves to be a secure method, but it is more restrictive for the user. “Authentication with Passwords only is one of the security issues the most important on the web »says Apple in its press release.
Can Google and Apple get along?
The announcement of an alliance between Apple and Google seems surprising, and we must admit that it is. Apple has always preferred to go it alone, even if it means isolating its ecosystem from the rest of the competition. The European Union does not see things in a good light, and has just challenged the company for blocking its NFC chip. At the same time, the two web giants have been debating for several months now on the possibility of creating a common messaging protocol, which would allow all users to benefit from the same functionalities.