Apple announces security keys for the new Apple ID and iMessage contact key verification

Apple has announced a handful of new security updates for Apple ID, iCloud, and iMessage. The company is bringing improved security to Apple ID and iCloud and is also adding support for contact key verification on iMessage.

Apple announces physical security keys for Apple ID and iCloud along with new iMessage contact key verification

Apple announced that users will be able to protect their Apple ID and iCloud with physical security keys starting in 2023. What this means is that you’ll have a dedicated device that you can set up as Layer 2 of 2FA for your personal account. Apple states 9to5mac:

This security key system integrates with the device-to-device transfer. So once you authenticate your iPhone with the Security Key, you won’t have to do it again if you get a new iPhone as long as you use the device-to-device setup transfer process when you set up a new iPhone.

The security key will prevent advanced attacks on your account from unknown and untrusted devices. Apple says: “This takes our two-factor authentication even further, preventing even an advanced attacker from getting the user’s second factor in a phishing scam.” Apple will explore third-party options for Hardware Security Key devices.

Apple Security for Apple ID iCloud and iMessage

As for iMessage Contact Key Verification, the feature will allow users to “further verify that they’re only messaging with people they intend to.” The feature will alert users “if an exceptionally advanced adversary, such as a state-sponsored attacker, succeeds in breaching cloud servers and inserting their own hardware to eavesdrop on these encrypted communications.”

Note that the contact key verification feature must be enabled on the iMessage sender and recipient. In addition, users can also register a verification code with the contact on FaceTime, in person, or through a secure call. You will be able to access the verification code through the Messages app. Apart from this, the company is also expanding end-to-end encryption for iCloud data.

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