Apple, Google and Microsoft are teaming up to free us from the password — by cracking it

When Apple, Google, and Microsoft stop hitting each other’s faces and agree on something, you know it matters. And that’s true for this week’s joint announcement: Apple, Google, and Microsoft are committed to expanding support for the FIDO standard to speed up password-free sign-in. The address is drier than the desert, but what it does represent: deleting passwords.

“But wait,” you might enter, “what’s so bad about passwords?” everything. Our lives are restricted to identities and online services that are protected by passwords; And when a nefarious species steals them, life is turned upside down. However, the burden that passwords place on everyone’s shoulders causes many people to leave their accounts vulnerable to attack.

It says everything that one of the most popular passwords is, quite literally, the “password”. Elsewhere, people reuse passwords across multiple services, which means if one of them gets hacked, all of them are. Bad restrictions exist, such as when services limit passwords to only eight characters. And the awful advice still lingers — just this week, I received a press release suggesting people use a formula for passwords that change frequently, so they only need to edit a portion of it at a time. merely no.

Fido (Fast Identification cardCharacter anline) to fix all this, by eliminating friction, eliminating phishing avenues, maintaining security and privacy, and having a shortcut that makes you think of a cute puppy. With Apple, Google and Microsoft on board, the system will cover Android, iOS, iPadOS, macOS and Windows, along with Chrome, Edge and Safari web browsers.

But how will it work? In short, when you sign up for an account, you’ll select a username and then use the user’s prompt number or your face for authentication (or a PIN, if you’re avoiding biometrics because you think the guy is out to get you). This is. The next time you sign in, you’ll authenticate the same way, and the Bluetooth component in the specs will allow you to use a device to sign in to accounts on nearby devices as well—no matter what operating system it’s running.

An easy-to-use FIDO form, showing how you’ll be able to log into a website using your phone.

The biggest benefit is summarized by Alex Simons of Microsoft – Corporate Vice President, Identity Program Management (and in need of a shorter job title): “The complete transformation to a passwordless world will begin with consumers making it a natural part of their lives. Any viable solution should be Safer, easier, and faster than the old passwords and multi-factor authentication methods in use today.”

This is the case here. FIDO is easy to use. It removes the need to remember passwords, but asks you to be present, and removes spoofing and phishing from the equation. It de-escalates conflict, which has resulted in having to jump through increasingly complex hoops to log into online services. And the cloud-native nature of the onboard tech trio means your passkeys are always with you, and in sync with your devices.

It leaves the dodgy types with nothing to steal — at least, not on a large scale. Today, a hack can give someone instant access to millions of passwords. If someone grabs your phone and you’re using FIDO, it will at worst be a problem for you, not millions of others. Until then, your device itself must be unlocked – or unlocked with a passcode instead of biometrics, and for that passcode to be one The thief knows. is unlikely.

Pessimists may grumble that they’ve heard all this before. And there’s a possibility even with Apple, Google, and Microsoft behind the initiative, stating that these new capabilities will arrive over the next year, and we may be on a bumpy road. After all, a lot of companies have interests in password-based authentication, while many bodies and individuals are reluctant to give Apple and others More power – or don’t trust them.

However, what was once a false dream now appears possible – even probable. So let’s look forward to FIDO and hopefully it will come out And I quickly hugged him. In the meantime, use two-factor authentication, a password manager and Have I been Pwned, while dreaming of a future where you never have to think about any of those things again.

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