Apple has finally added one of the most requested features in its latest iOS 16.3 update – support for hardware security keys for better protection.
Interested users can add compatible security keys to their iPhones and authorize them with them every time they need them. Apple says this system provides better security than the 2FA codes while logging into your Apple ID and others.
Hardware Security Keys for iPhone
One of the major initial hacking vectors for threat actors to obtain someone’s credentials is phishing – where they craft a malicious website resembling a trusted brand and ask the target to fill in their sensitive info in it to steal them.
This would work most of the time if done perfectly. Since sophisticated phishing campaigns have a higher success ratio of remote attacks, Apple came up with a reliable solution to stop them from happening.
And it’s by adding support for the hardware security keys to iPhone logins. The company added this in iOS 16.3 update, where users can add supported hardware keys – YubiKey 5 NFC, YubiKey 5C NFC, YubiKey 5Ci, Google Titan, and FEITAN ePass K9 NFC – to protect themselves better.
Since these keys need to be in the presence of the device while unlocking, it’s impossible for the hackers to breach your account, even if they get hold of your credentials and OTPs.
If you are interested, update your iPhone to iOS 16.3 and go to Settings > Click your name > Password & Security, and then select Add Security Key. You’d be suggested to have two hardware security keys for good – one at home/office and one with you all the time – to be helpful if you lost one.
Once you have them, click on Add Security Key and pair the first key by holding the gold NFC section of your security to the top of your phone. Once you’re done by selecting the paired one, you’ll be prompted to link the second security key. After this, you’ll be asked to review the list of devices your Apple ID is currently logged in to and options for logging out of them if needed.
That’s it. You’ll now be asked to hold any of the connected security keys to access your Apple ID for installing apps, making a purchase, or logging in on another device. And if you don’t want these, go to Settings and click on Remove All to detach all the connected security keys. This will revert your login process to the regular credentials + six-digit verification code system.