How Firefox is Moving Beyond Passwords


Could this be the beginning of the end for passwords?

Mozilla is releasing an updated version of its web browser, Firefox 60, on Wednesday. The new browser supports a security technology that could change the way personal security is done online, CNET reported.

Called Web Authentication, or WebAuthn for short, the technology can be used to grant users access to websites that previously required a password. Users just need a physical authentication device such as a Yubikey dongle or a fingerprint reader to verify their identity.

"Essentially, WebAuthn is a set of anti-phishing rules that uses a sophisticated level of authenticators and cryptography to protect user accounts," writes Mozilla in a blog post.

WebAuthn will only work with websites that support it, however. So users who do decide to use it still need to keep up good password habits with the sites that don't. That might be difficult though, as internet users have proven repeatedly that they are notoriously bad at using passwords. Users tend to create simple passwords that are easy to remember and easy to phish and then tend to reuse them across the web. 

Firefox won't be the only browser that supports WebAuthn for long. It's coming soon to Google Chrome as well as Microsoft's Edge browser.