U2F is a new standard for universal two-factor authentication tokens. These tokens can use USB, NFC, or Bluetooth to provide two-factor authentication across a variety of services. It’s already supported in Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Facebook, Dropbox, and even GitHub accounts as well as Windows and OSX.
This standard is backed by the FIDO alliance, which includes Google, Microsoft, PayPal, American Express, MasterCard, VISA, Intel, ARM, Samsung, Qualcomm, Bank of America, and many other industry leaders.
To simplify the concept, U2F is just a physical key that you plug into a USB port on your computer. The U2F device, like the key to your car our house, then unlocks your digital assets like the OS, Gmail, or Facebook via encryption. Without the physical key, no one can access your account – so hackers, and even key loggers, will not be able to steal your passwords because the U2F encrypts the data.
And the best thing about U2F is that nothing personally identifiable is physically stored on the key, which is precisely why you can use the same key for multiple accounts.
That means if you misplace a U2F key (or it gets stolen) it doesn’t matter where it ends up – no one will be able to pull private information from the key to connect it your accounts, because that information is nowhere to be found. There is nothing to tie that key to you.
Given the inexpensive nature of U2F keys (yubikey sells one for $18), you can expect U2F security tokens to be in use everywhere, and soon.
iBeta is currently the only quality assurance lab in the world accredited by the FIDO Alliance for their Biometric Component Program https://fidoalliance.org/certification/biometric-component-certification/fido-accredited-biometric-laboratories/