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Microsoft Joins Group Seeking to Replace Passwords

By IDG News Service

December 17, 2013

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Microsoft has joined the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance, which seeks to develop standards to curb corporate reliance on passwords, considered a weakness in Web security.

The alliance wants its specifications for security devices and browser plugins to be broadly adopted across the technology industry.

Other FIDO participants include Google, MasterCard, Lenovo, Infineon, LG Electronics, and several smaller companies.

FIDO believes standardizing authentication technologies will lead to better interoperability and innovations in biometrics, personal identification numbers, and secondary authentication technologies, according to its website. Potential technologies for replacing passwords include a software client that is installed on computers and uses public key cryptography to authenticate users.

The initial focus would be on securing access via Web browsers to Web applications. The group also is focusing on authentication options for Android phones and eventually for Windows tablets and Apple products. When FIDO authentication is used, users would not need to submit their biometric or personal information to an online service.

The FIDO Alliance will eventually submit its protocol to groups dedicated to Web standards, such as the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium.

From IDG News Service
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