Chrome to Support New Password-Free Logins

In the coming months, Chrome and and other major web browsers will be gaining support for a a new way to log into websites --one that doesn't require a password.

The new standard aims to lure users away from current password-based systems, which leave users open to phishing attacks and other ways of abusing stolen login credentials.

Announced in a press release today (April 10) by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the new Web Authentication (WebAuthn) standard will let users move to biometric logins or verification via a USB security key.

The press release notes that "Google, Microsoft and Mozilla have committed to supporting the WebAuthn standard in their flagship browsers and have started implementation for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS and Android platforms." WebAuthn is currently in the Candidate Release stage, waiting on approval from W3C. 

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A development status page for WebAuthn in Chrome shows that it is slated to be enabled by default in version 67, two major releases from the current version 65. The standard is already supported by Firefox, and Edge will be gaining support in the coming months, according to The Verge.

Login via USB security keys is already widely supported for products such as the Yubikey by major websites such as Facebook, Google and Bank of America.

"While there are many web security problems and we can't fix them all, relying on passwords is one of the weakest links," W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe said. "With WebAuthn's multi-factor solutions we are eliminating this weak link."

Image credit: Tahuna2001/Shutterstock

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