Yubico's latest security key uses NFC and USB-C for authentication

That helps it prevent hacking on nearly all PCs and mobile devices.


Yubico, the company that wants you to drop passwords and use a physical hardware key instead, has unveiled a new product that works with just about any device and authentication protocol. The YubiKey 5C NFC uses both USB-C and NFC, so it supports Windows, macOS and Linux PCs, along with Android and iOS smartphones or tablets.

The company said its latest key, like others in the YubiKey 5 series, can prevent phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks. That’s because it stores a strong, single-use key that users must have in their physical possession. The company said it’s also quicker by up to four times than using a one-time password.

It supports multiple authentication protocols including FIDO2, FIDO U2F, smart card (PIV), Yubico OTP, OpenPGP, OATH-TOTP, OATH-HOTP and Challenge-Response — all on a single device. That means it’ll work with most password managers, along with social media platforms, collaboration tools and browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.

The main difference with the latest model is that it supports both NFC and USB-C, rather than USB-A. That should work better for people with newer devices, as USB-C is now common on recent Macs, most PCs and Android smartphones. The YubiKey 5C NFC is now available for $55 on Yubico’s website.

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