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Pranava Mohan

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Your phone will soon become your password; Microsoft, Google and Apple team up to create a new authentication standard

Microsoft, Google, and Apple want phone authentication to become the standard and have extended their support to the FIDO Alliance, an open source industry association standard for online authentication.

The three tech giants are committed to creating a future where your phone is the primary source of online authentication. The new standard is called "Multi-Device FIDO Credential".

FIDO Alliance, or Fast Identity Online, is an open source industry association standard created to facilitate, simplify, and secure online authentication. The three tech giants that have extended their support for this.

"Password-only authentication is one of the biggest security problems on the web, and managing so many passwords is cumbersome for consumers, which often leads consumers to reuse the same ones across services.", The alliance said in a blog post.

These malicious practices have resulted in account takeovers, data breaches, and costly identity theft.

With the new system, users will be able to sign in to their accounts through the same actions they take several times a day to unlock their device, such as fingerprint or face verification, plain face or device password PIN.

The new approach will protect people against phishing, and logins will be more secure "compared to passwords and legacy multi-factor technologies such as one-time passcodes sent over SMS", the union said.

The new standard will operate using Bluetooth, requiring the physical proximity of the device and the user, to protect against unwanted account takeover.

The Alliance also says the new method will only use Bluetooth for proximity verification, and the connection process will not require any Bluetooth attributes.

This also allows companies like Microsoft, Google, and Apple to securely store user credentials, which can be transferred from one device to another without hassle.

If you lose your device, you can still sign in with your password as a backup.

Passwords have long been an issue when it comes to account security. Ideally you want a long string of random numbers and letters for better protection, unfortunately humans are not very good at memorizing random strings.

What ends up happening, more often than not, is that you create a comfortable password for one account and then repeat that password for other services, making them all vulnerable to hacking.

The new standard would "become available across Apple, Google, and Microsoft platforms over the course of the coming year", the alliance said.

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