Facebook is enhancing its existing protection against account takeovers with cryptographically based security keys that can be used as a second factor of authentication, the social network is announcing today.
A handful of online services—including Google, Dropbox, GitHub, and Salesforce—already support security keys based on the open Universal 2nd Factor, or U2F, standard, created by the Fido Alliance. Now Facebook is offering them, too. The inexpensive devices, which plug into users' USB port, were recently shown to beat out smartphones and most other forms of two-factor verification in a two-year study of more than 50,000 Google employees. That assessment was based on the ease of using and deploying keys, the security they provided against phishing and other types of account-takeover attacks, and the lack of privacy trade-offs that accompany some other forms of two-factor authentication.