Industry Giants Announce a Fix for the Password Mess

Dec 16, 2014

FIDO alliance declares the beginning of the end for old-style login authentication.

The FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance has announced the final drafts of its 1.0 specifications for next-generation authentication technology. The two specifications are the Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).
The FIDO Alliance is a consortium of high-tech and online banking companies that have combined forces to solve the problem of replacing the outdated hopelessly insecure username/password paradigm for network authentication. According to FIDO, passwords play a role in up to 76% of all security breaches. The goal of the alliance is to create a universal, open standard for two-factor authentication and other strong authentication techniques that will support interoperability among software systems and network services. Alliance members include Google, Microsoft, Lenovo, Samsung, BlackBerry, and ARM Holdings, as well as credit giants such as Bank of America, MasterCard, Discover Financial Services, and PayPal.
The new specifications provide a roadmap for developing and implementing strong authentication systems. FIDO members have agreed not to enforce any patents related to technologies used in the specifications. According to FIDO president Michael Barrett, “Today, we celebrate an achievement that will define the point at which the old world order of passwords and PINs started to wither and die.”

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