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Biometric security keys released by Yubico

Coming in both USB-A and USB-C form factors


Passwordless solutions expert, Yubico, announced on Tuesday the release of two new biometric security keys.

Dubbed the YubiKey Bio, the new devices will be available in both USB-A and USB-C form factors.

The YubiKey Bio are the first products in Yubico’s portfolio featuring biometric authentication capabilities. Commenting on a blog post, the company said it has been looking at the development of biometric solutions for a while, but waited to release the YubiKey Bio to make sure the devices came with the best security standards possible.

The YubiKey Bio products, which are currently in private preview, have been developed to be compliant with various security standards, including FIDO U2F, FIDO2, and WebAuthn.

The new devices are essentially USB sticks integrating a fingerprint sensor. Upon inserting a  YubiKey Bio into a computer, users are prompted to set up a PIN, as well as register their fingerprint to a Yubico account.

After that, every access to the USB drive’s content will be subject to biometric authentication via fingerprint.

To address concerns related to the potentially incorrect reading of fingerprints, Yubico will allow users to use their PINs to login in case biometric authentication does not work due to variables in skin texture related to moisture or temperature.

The company also separated the biometric subsystem from the key’s core functionality to reduce the potential impact of a security breach of biometric data.

The communication between the biometric secure element and the core one is then encrypted to mitigate eavesdropping and replay attacks.

Applications are now open for the YubiKey Bio closed preview program.

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