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  • Writer's picturePasskeysExplained

What is WebAuthn, the New Standard Behind Passkeys?

WebAuthn is a new authentication standard that allows users to log in to their online accounts using a physical key instead of a password. This key can take the form of a USB key, a Bluetooth device, or even a smartphone.

WebAuthn was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance, a consortium of technology companies that includes Google, Microsoft, and Intel.

The goal of WebAuthn is to provide a more secure and user-friendly way to authenticate online accounts. WebAuthn works by creating a cryptographic key pair on the user's device and storing the private key securely on the device.

When the user logs in to a website or service that supports WebAuthn, they are prompted to insert their security key and follow the on-screen instructions. The website or service then uses the public key to authenticate the user and grant them access.

One of the key advantages of WebAuthn is that it eliminates the need for passwords, which are often weak and easy to compromise. Instead, WebAuthn relies on physical keys that are much harder to hack or steal. WebAuthn is also more user-friendly than traditional authentication methods, as it eliminates the need to remember complex passwords or use password managers.

Users simply need to insert their security key to log in to their accounts, making the process faster and more convenient. WebAuthn is already supported by a number of major web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

As more websites and services adopt WebAuthn, we can expect to see a shift away from passwords and toward more secure and user-friendly authentication methods.

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