Firefox 60 launches with WebAuthn support to move beyond passwords
Mozilla has completed its implementation of the WebAuthn standard to allow online user authentication without a password with the release of Firefox 60, CNET reports.
WebAuthn enables authentication with biometrics or other alternatives via a physical authentication device or smartphone implementing the FIDO2 Client to Authenticator Protocol.
W3C accepted the WebAuthn specification, which is based on FIDO2, as a Candidate Recommendation (CR) in March, with the support of Google, Microsoft, Nok Nok Labs, and others, in addition to Mozilla. At the time, Nok Nok Labs CEO and President Phillip Dunkelberger compared the potential of WebAuthn to SSL, which established a basis of trust for the identities of websites.
“Unlike passwords, the secrets used in WebAuthn never leave your security key, so they are significantly harder to steal,” wrote DropBox Software Engineer Brad Girardeau in a recent blog post announcing his company’s support for WebAuthn. “Other changes in Firefox 60 include sponsored link advertising, and CSS acceleration technology Stylo for its Android browser.
Microsoft and Google have begun working on implementations of WebAuthn for their Edge and Chrome browsers.