Microsoft joins FIDO Alliance in effort to kill passwords

Dec 13, 2013
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The FIDO Alliance is a group of technology firms that are looking to make some new industry standards that aim at reducing the need for passwords. We are all familiar with passwords, most of us use them to secure our email, computers, and smartphones from prying eyes. The problem is security that relies on passwords is only as good as the password you make and they are often easy to guess or intercept.

FIDO stands for Fast IDentitiy Online and the goal of the alliance is to set specifications for security devices and browser plug-ins that will be adopted by the technology industry. The FIDO Alliance counts some of the biggest companies in the tech world among its members including Google, which joined the alliance in April of this year. Other members include Lenovo, MasterCard, and Infineon among others. Microsoft has now added its name to the list of supporters.

As the company behind the most popular computer OS in the world, Microsoft could do a lot to help reduce our reliance on passwords for computer security. The FIDO Alliance believes that by developing standardized authentication tech interoperability between authentication technology like biometrics, PIN numbers and other tech will improve.

The goal of the alliance is to create a piece of client software that is installed on a PC using public key cryptography. That tech will be used to authenticate a user and all major web browsers would be supported. To start, the tech would focus on securing access via web browsers and web apps. FIDO also plans to develop solutions for authentication on Android, Apple, and Windows phones and tablets.

SOURCE: PC World


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