M. Niyazi Alpay
M. Niyazi Alpay
M. Niyazi Alpay

I've been interested in computer systems since a very young age, and I've been programming since 2005. I have knowledge in PHP, MySQL, Python, MongoDB, and Linux.



WebAuthn and FIDO2: Modern Authentication Technologies

WebAuthn and FIDO2: Modern Authentication Technologies

WebAuthn is a technology that makes authentication processes on the web secure, user-friendly, and independent of passwords. Developed by the FIDO (Fast Identity Online) Alliance, this standard operates within the FIDO2 protocol framework and allows browsers to access security hardware. In this article, we will discuss how WebAuthn works, the concept of passkeys, and the devices that support WebAuthn and passkey usage.

WebAuthn and FIDO2

WebAuthn is part of the FIDO2 standards. FIDO2 includes a set of technologies that enable users to access online services securely and without passwords. FIDO2 consists of two main components: WebAuthn and CTAP (Client to Authenticator Protocol). WebAuthn manages authentication operations between browsers and web applications, while CTAP governs communication between devices and browsers.

How Does WebAuthn Work?

WebAuthn allows browsers to access local security hardware (e.g., biometric sensors, security keys). This enables users to authenticate securely. WebAuthn uses JavaScript APIs to initiate, manage, and conclude authentication processes.

The working principle of WebAuthn is based on browsers and devices agreeing on a common protocol and establishing secure communication. When a user wants to register or log in to a website, the browser sends an authentication request to the device. In response, the device prompts the user for a biometric verification or a security key entry. The device then generates a digital signature and sends it to the server. The server uses this digital signature to verify the user's identity.

The Concept of Passkeys

A passkey is a pair of cryptographic keys used by users for online authentication. A passkey consists of two parts: a private key and a public key. The private key is securely stored on the device, while the public key is sent to the server and used in authentication processes.

Passkeys offer significant security advantages. Unlike passwords, passkeys are unpredictable and cannot be intercepted by anyone. This provides better protection for users' accounts against malicious attacks. Additionally, passkeys enhance user experience. Users can quickly and easily log in using biometric verification or a security key without having to remember passwords.

Devices Supporting WebAuthn and Passkeys

There are various devices that support WebAuthn and passkey technologies. These devices are equipped with security hardware and biometric sensors, enabling secure and user-friendly authentication processes. Below are some types of devices that support this technology:

  1. Smartphones and Tablets:
    • Apple iPhone and iPad: Provide biometric authentication with Face ID and Touch ID.
    • Android Devices: Devices with Android 7.0 and above are compatible with fingerprint scanners and facial recognition technology.
  2. Laptops and Desktop Computers:
    • Windows 10 and above computers: Support biometric authentication (facial recognition, fingerprint) with Windows Hello.
    • MacBook and iMac: Compatible with Touch ID and other biometric solutions.
  3. Security Keys:
    • Yubico YubiKey: Provides biometric and physical authentication via USB and NFC.
    • Google Titan Security Key: FIDO2 compliant and secure physical keys.
  4. Biometric Sensors:
    • Fingerprint scanners
    • Facial recognition systems

In conclusion, WebAuthn technology has great potential to enhance online security and improve user experience. With this technology, users can authenticate securely and password-free, easily accessing online services. This indicates that WebAuthn will become even more widespread in the future and hold a significant place in the field of digital security.

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