Yubico YubiKey Bio authentication dongle uses biometrics for added security on Windows, Mac, and Linux

Portable hardware authentication dongles are pretty darn cool -- they can be a great way to secure access to various devices, applications, and services using hardware. Google offers its own Titan security keys, for instance, but the search giant likely isn't the first company that comes to mind for these products. Actually, Yubico is probably the name most associated with authentication dongles.

Believe it or not, Yubico's popular YubiKey devices have not yet been offered with biometric support. Thankfully, this changes today. You see, the all-new YubiKey Bio features a fingerprint reader for an added level of security. Not only must you physically have possession of the YubiKey Bio to use it, but you must prove you are its owner by scanning your finger.

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"In keeping with Yubico's innovation and design philosophy, the YubiKey Bio does not require any batteries, drivers, or associated software. The new security keys integrate with the native biometric enrollment and management features supported in the latest platforms and operating systems. Once a YubiKey Bio is set up, users will experience secure second factor and passwordless logins for desktop-based FIDO-supported services and applications," says Yubico.

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The company also says, "The YubiKey Bio Series reimagines biometric authentication on a security key. Its three chip architecture allows the biometric fingerprint material to be stored in a separate secure element which delivers enhanced protection from physical attacks. The YubiKey Bio acts as a single, trusted hardware-backed root of trust which allows the user to authenticate with the same key across multiple desktop devices, operating systems, and applications."

Yubico shares features and benefits of the YubiKey Bio Series below.

  • Meets the most stringent hardware security key requirements with fingerprint templates stored in a separate secure element on the YubiKey Bio.
  • Supports FIDO2/WebAuthn and FIDO U2F, based on the Yubico invention of enabling one single authenticator to work across any number of applications, with highest level of security, and without sharing any information between services.
  • Works across desktop platforms supporting WebAuthn such as Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux and across browsers such as Edge and Chrome as well as other Chromium based browsers.
  • Available as both USB-A and USB-C in Yubico’s hallmark, slim and durable keychain design.
  • Offers portability which allows users to switch devices, log into shared workstations, and also support mobile-restricted environments.
  • Allows for use of security key PIN for scenarios where biometrics cannot be used.
  • Supported by Yubico Authenticator for Desktop app on Windows, macOS and Linux to enroll new fingerprints, add or delete fingerprints when native platform and browser capabilities are limited.

The Yubico YubiKey Bio authentication dongle is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux-based operating systems, including Google's Chrome OS. The device is being offered in two variants -- USB-A and USB-C. The former can be purchased here for $80, while the latter is available here for only $5 more.

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