CES 2019: Yubico Debuts First Apple-Approved Lightning-Enabled YubiKey for Secure Physical Authentication on iOS Devices

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Yubico, a company that makes physical security keys for physical two-factor authentication, today announced the upcoming launch of a Lightning-based YubiKey device that will work with Apple's iPhones and iPads.

    Yubico has long offered USB-A, USB-C, and NFC-based YubiKey options for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, but there has never been a Lightning-based option before.


    YubiKey for Lightning, which has been approved by Apple, has been designed to be used with both Lightning devices and Apple's latest Macs thanks to a Lightning connector on one end and a USB-C connector on the other end.

    The new accessory will offer up seamless authentication across Apple's desktop and mobile devices. Yubico is launching a YubiKey for Lightning program, which will let developers and services adopt support for the YubiKey.

    YubiKey for Lightning is in a private preview and available only for participants in the YubiKey for Lightning program, with more information on general availability to come at a later date.

    Yubico is today also announcing an a new version of its Security Key NFC for tap-and-go authentication on supported devices like Android smartphones and Windows 10 computers.

    Article Link: CES 2019: Yubico Debuts First Apple-Approved Lightning-Enabled YubiKey for Secure Physical Authentication on iOS Devices
  2. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    It's really cool that they got Neil Cicierega to star in their ads.

  3. The Chosen One macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2015
    Does that mean the alteady existing usb c keys work on the new ipad pros?
  4. techpr macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2008
    San Juan, PR
  5. centauratlas macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2003
    Except when Apple phases out lighting for USB-C like on the new iPad Pro and MacBook Pros....at least they already have a USB-C version. Anyone know if the USB-C versions work with the 2018 iPad Pro or the 2018 etc MBPs?
  6. ILikeAllOS macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2011
    Tampa Bay
    This is good but it's too late. They have a NFC version as mentioned in the article, and it works just fine and wirelessly with the iPhone.
    Seems dumb now to go backwards and make one with a physical lightning connector instead of just promoting the NFC version...
  7. luvbug macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2017
    I believe you'll find there are security requirements that simply don't allow a wireless access method, of any kind, especially for authentication. You're correct for your own use case, but not for many business, government, and even academic (research) environments.
  8. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    99.9% of people don't know what this is for or how it works or why they'd need or want it and this little article didn't change that.
  9. deconstruct60, Jan 8, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    This Lightning version is a USB-C version. There are two sides to that particular device. One is Ligthining and one is Type-C some chip on basically the same USB bus.

    Type-C or Type-A doesn't make a material difference to what YubiKey does. What associated software (and versions of same) engaged would far more be a factor on macOS. ( admin and the higher end configuration is probably tied to macOS).


    iOS is probably more so a 'use' than admin/set. It would be the software present on the OS that would be the real concern. If your favorite web browser is Yubikey clueless then it won't work so well.

    The key provides a virtual keyboard and a target for folks who have weaved Yubico APIs into their software.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 8, 2019 ---
    That kind of depends upon how lazy they are. The link at the top of the article to Yubico's announcement has more (which is basically Yubico's job to sell Yubico's product). Has bit more detail.

    "... Today, the Security Key NFC works out of the box with hundreds of services already supporting FIDO U2F and FIDO2 authentication protocols: including Microsoft (for passwordless login), Google, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, a growing list of password managers, and many more FIDO2 and U2F compatible websites. ..."

    Probably the bigger disconnect there in a Apple product heavy context is the disconnect between Apple's approach to "Two Factor" authentication and what Yubico's approach is. If have a modern iOS device with the newer versions of the OS and haven't switched on two factor a large fraction of folks have probably gotten some dialog box from Apple suggesting that they "turn on Two Factor". macOS installs increasingly too. Apple has been raising the visibility of "two factor" past the 0.5% range. Most probably don't bother to find out. Or simply "turn on" Apple's version but "what" it is for is probably much higher than that awareness level.
  10. Jsfrederick macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2017
    Fredericksburg, VA, USA
    Apple has only opened up NFC for one way communications. That limits the Yubikey to OTP based MFA. OTP is "old" technology that utilizes a shared secret model. Modern MFA solutions (such as FIDO U2F, FIDO2, and Smart Card) utilize a Public/Private Key model that is much more secure. With Apple's limitation, the Public/Private Key model cannot be used with iOS devices. The lightning based key will allow for these modern solutions with iOS devices

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