Apple iOS 16.3 now supports hardware security keys

Apple today released iOS 16.3 with the long-awaited hardware security keys support. This will provide additional protection from phishing attacks as well as unauthorized access.

The hardware security keys can be small, physical devices that look like thumb drives. They support USB-C (using adapters) and Near-field communication NFC (using NFC) to connect with a Mac or iPhone.

This device can be used to verify that Apple IDs are being used with two-factor authentication.

Security keys should be kept in your wallet or keychain and be present on a device in order to authenticate login. This provides you with greater security against hackers trying to access your account remotely.

Threat actors often use phishing to steal Apple ID credentials, and one-time passcodes via 2FA verifications.

However, once your Apple ID has been configured with a security code, remote threats actors cannot access your Apple ID because they do not have the hardware security key.

Set up your iPhone’s security code

Apple’s security keys require you to keep two keys with you in order to use iOS. One must be at your home, while the other should be kept in your office.

Go to Settings > Enter your username> Security > then choose Add Security key.

Adding a security key to iOS

Source: BleepingComputer

The next step is to make sure you have the correct security keys and add the first by holding down the NFC gold section on your security.

After selecting the security key, you’ll be asked to connect the second key.

Once both have been linked, you’ll be asked to look at the devices that your Apple ID has been logged into and decide whether or not you want to delete them.

Once the set-up process has been completed, to gain access to your Apple ID for any reason (e.g. to install apps, make a purchase or log in to another device), you’ll need to push your security key up to the top to activate two-factor authentication.

BleepingComputer confirmed the functionality of the feature with the YubiKey 5 NFC and YubiKey 5C NFC as well as the Google Titan.

Apple claims that both the YubiKey 5Ci security keys and FEITAN ePass NFC security keys can be used together.

You can uninstall security keys by going back to Security Keys and clicking Remove all Security Keys. After your security keys have been removed, the 6-digit verification codes will be restored.

For more information on security keys in Apple iOS, you can refer to Apple’s support article.