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Google is launching its own USB-based hardware security keys

By Polycount ยท 5 replies
Jul 25, 2018
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  1. Yesterday, Google claimed that none of its employees had been phished since they made the switch to hardware-based two-factor authentication (2FA). Given the level of interest that news gained, it's no surprise to see Google launch its own branded hardware security keys to the public.

    Hardware security keys, for the unaware, are usually small, USB devices that a user plugs into their PC in place of other 2FA methods, such as text messaging or authenticator apps. Because they require a direct connection to function, it's typically significantly harder -- if not impossible -- for hackers to remotely access the devices.

    Google's solution is dubbed "Titan Key," and it will reportedly ship in two separate variants; a Bluetooth-compatible version for mobile devices, and a USB version for desktop or laptop platforms.

    For now, Titan Key seems to be limited to Google's Cloud customers. There is no purchase page or publicly-available pricing information, suggesting that Titan Key isn't really intended for consumers at the moment. Indeed, the only apparent way to get your hands on one is to hit the "Contact Sales" button on Google's security key web page.

    Regardless, current availability aside, if Google can slowly begin to push hardware-based 2FA into the mainstream, that could only be a good thing.

    With Google publicly backing such devices, we may begin to see a significant reduction in the impact phishing attacks and password breaches can have on consumers in the long run. After all, your password isn't much good to a hacker if they also need a physical USB device to access any of your accounts.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,150   +3,573

    If they come out for anyone to use I'll probably get one, but if Google forces you to use their services or tie it to them I won't even bother ......
    Reehahs and wiyosaya like this.
  3. pawel04

    pawel04 TS Booster Posts: 81   +90

    In the latter case I would hope that a third party can come up with a good solution. I think there would surely be a market for it.
  4. Impudicus

    Impudicus TS Addict Posts: 109   +62

    There already are some 3rd party options. Yubikey, RSA to name a couple.
  5. pawel04

    pawel04 TS Booster Posts: 81   +90

    You learn something new every day. Cheers (y)
  6. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    Lol. A "secure" USB key from a company financed by NSA?
    You insert it into your computer and it modifies your MB and HDD BIOS, like a virus? Is that how it operates?

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