Google launches new Titan security keys with space for many passkeys

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google launches new titan security keys with space for many passkeys
google launches new titan security keys with space for many passkeys

Google has brought current Titan security keys to the Google Store. The new FIDO2-compatible keys can store 250 passkeys each. The models now presented replace the USB-A and USB-C devices previously offered.

As Google writes in a blog post , the two new Titan security keys offer NFC so that they can also connect to mobile devices and use them to authenticate users. The keys can store more than 250 unique passkeys. “Enough storage space for users to register with all their favorite services that support passkeys,” says Google. FIDO2 sticks from other manufacturers such as Yubikeys and the like so far only have 25 memory slots available for passkeys, so this is definitely a significant improvement.

Protection against phishing attacks

Passwordless login according to FIDO standards is intended to protect against phishing attacks, so that malicious actors cannot access accounts protected by using fraudulent credentials. But it is better to get rid of passwords completely in order to eliminate the associated risks, explains Google. The company therefore helped develop passkeys that rely on FIDO2 access data and cryptography.

Most operating systems can now work as a passkey authenticator themselves, which means that a separate FIDO2 stick is no longer necessary for this purpose. However, FIDO2 sticks provide additional security because the crypto keys used for passkeys are generated and stored within the stick. In order to use the passkeys stored on the stick, the attacker must have physical access to the stick and also enter a PIN of at least four digits. Only a few failed attempts are allowed, comparable to the PIN on a bank card. FIDO2 sticks can also serve as a backup: If you link a FIDO2 stick to all accounts in addition to the passkey device you mainly use, such as your smartphone, you can still log in even if the smartphone is defective or stolen.

 

Passkeys have great potential, but there is not just one solution for everyone. Some people need solutions that don’t depend on their smartphone or use devices that don’t support passkeys. From Google’s perspective, with passkey support, the Titan USB sticks step into the breach as portable hardware.

OEM hardware with its own firmware

The first versions of the Titan security keys were based on third-party hardware into which Google had implanted its own firmware. The updated sticks also look like the hardware came from Feitian. Google also writes: “Titan security keys contain special firmware developed by Google to verify the integrity of the keys.”

The two available versions cost 35 euros each in Google’s store , and shipping in Germany is free. There is a variant with a USB-A port, which comes with an adapter from USB-C to USB-A, and a USB-C variant, which is particularly better for newer computers with USB-C ports. Both support NFC and can “connect to most Android and iOS devices that support USB or NFC.”

Since 2020, Google has also been selling the first Titan Security Keys in the German store . Some of them only support the older U2F process, while the new sticks support FIDO2 and passkeys

 

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise