Microsoft joins FIDO group hoping to replace passwords with public key cryptography

Microsoft logoMicrosoft has joined the board of directors of the FIDO ("Fast IDentity Online") Alliance, an industry consortium that is attempting to create a set of protocols to enable consistent, secure, passwordless access to Web-based applications. Other members include Google, BlackBerry, PayPal, Lenovo, and MasterCard.

The problems with passwords are well-known. They're poorly chosen, regularly stolen, and routinely reused across sites, meaning that a compromise of one account can lead to compromises of many others.

FIDO hopes to replace passwords with a system built around public key cryptography. To register with a FIDO site, you won't enter a password into the site. Instead, hitting register will alert your authentication devices—typically an app on your smartphone—of the attempt to register. If that attempt is approved (for example, by using a registered fingerprint or entering a PIN), the device will generate a public/private key pair. The public key will be sent to the online service; the private key will be retained on the authentication device.

Subsequent log ons will have a similar overall flow. You'll choose to log in to the site, and the request will be sent to your device. If you approve the login attempt, the device will use the private key to sign some data sent from the online service and then send the signed data back to the service. The service will then use the public key to verify the signature.

Microsoft joins FIDO group hoping to replace passwords with public key cryptography

FIDO will also have a protocol for acting as a second factor, to be used in conjunction with a traditional password.

Applications could already use similar techniques for authentication today, but developers would have to create all the components and communications protocols themselves. This poses a substantial burden (especially given the security-sensitive nature of the development) and would also mean that each different online application would need its own protocols and authentication app.

The Alliance intends to create standard protocols for this communication between online services and authentication devices so that services could simply make use of existing libraries, and users could use a single authentication app for all of their FIDO-secured services. Once this protocol has been created, the group plans to submit it to IETF or some similar standard body.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Microsoft, security

Comments
Add comment

Your name:
Sign in with:
or
Your comment:


Enter code:

E-mail (not required)
E-mail will not be disclosed to the third party


Last news

 
Consumer group recommends iPhone 8 over anniversary model
 
LTE connections wherever you go and instant waking should come to regular PCs, too
 
That fiction is slowly becoming a reality
 
The Snapdragon 845 octa-core SoC includes the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem
 
Human moderators can help make YouTube a safer place for everyone
 
Google says Progressive Web Apps are the future of app-like webpages
 
All 2018 models to sport the 'notch'
 
The biggest exchange in South Korea, where the BTC/KRW pair is at $14,700 now
The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Review
The evolution of the successful smartphone, now with a waterproof body and USB Type-C
February 7, 2017 /
Samsung Galaxy TabPro S - a tablet with the Windows-keyboard
The first Windows-tablet with the 12-inch display Super AMOLED
June 7, 2016 /
Keyboards for iOS
Ten iOS keyboards review
July 18, 2015 /
Samsung E1200 Mobile Phone Review
A cheap phone with a good screen
March 8, 2015 / 4
Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card review
Good sound for those who are not satisfied with the onboard solution
September 25, 2014 / 2
Samsung Galaxy Gear: Smartwatch at High Price
The first smartwatch from Samsung - almost a smartphone with a small body
December 19, 2013 /
 
 

News Archive

 
 
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      




Poll

Do you use microSD card with your phone?
or leave your own version in comments (4)