The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the FIDO Alliance today announced the Web Authentication (WebAuthn) specification is now an official web standard.
W3C's WebAuthn Recommendation, a core component of the FIDO Alliance's FIDO2 set of specifications, is a browser/platform standard for simpler and stronger authentication. It is already supported in Windows 10, Android, and Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari (preview) Web browsers. WebAuthn allows users to log into their internet accounts using their preferred device. Web services and apps can turn on this functionality to give their users the option to log in more easily via biometrics, mobile devices and/or FIDO security keys, and with much higher security over passwords alone.
With FIDO2 and WebAuthn, the global technology community has come together to provide a shared solution to the shared password problem. FIDO2 addresses all of the issues with traditional authentication:
- FIDO2 cryptographic login credentials are unique across every website, biometrics or other secrets like passwords never leave the user’s device and are never stored on a server. This security model eliminates the risks of phishing, all forms of password theft and replay attacks.
- Users log in with convenient methods such as fingerprint readers, cameras, FIDO security keys, or their personal mobile device.
- Because FIDO keys are unique for each Internet site, they cannot be used to track you across sites.
- Websites can enable FIDO2 via simple API call across all supported browsers and platforms on billions of devices consumers use every day.
For services providers and vendors ready to get started with FIDO2 specifications and browser/platform support, the FIDO Alliance has provided testing tools and launched a certification program. Currently, there are many FIDO2 Certified solutions available to support a wide variety of use cases, including FIDO Certified Universal Servers that support FIDO2 and all prior UAF and U2F devices for full backward compatibility with the full range of certified FIDO authenticators.