Yubico is a company that sells the "YubiKey," a small piece of hardware that protects access to computers and online accounts by providing strong two-factor authentication in lieu of receiving a text message code on a smartphone or other 2FA steps. With the NFC-equipped YubiKey NEO, Android users have been able to authenticate their log-ins with a tap, and this week Yubico announced that ability has launched for iPhone users as well (via The Next Web).

yubikey neo ios
With the launch of the YubiKit 1.0.0 iOS SDK, the company is allowing developers to add support for the YubiKey NEO into their iOS apps, starting with sole support from LastPass. Once set up with a LastPass account, the YubiKey NEO generates a one-time password, and when the user gets to the 2FA log-in screen, they simply tap the NEO near the back of the iPhone to authenticate.

It has been possible for developers to integrate with YubiKey NEO since iOS 11 launched in September, but the debut of the SDK should lead to wider adoption since it will be far easier for developers to introduce support for the device's NFC abilities.

The NEO does not require a battery to function, nor does it need network connectivity, and Yubico says that it is "four times faster" than typing a traditional one-time passcode. In addition to NFC, the device has a dongle for USB-A connectivity so it can double as an authenticator on laptop and desktop computers, and Yubico says that it's crush resistant and waterproof.


The YubiKey NEO is supported on iPhone 7 devices and newer, and for LastPass the feature is supported under the Premium, Families, Teams, and Enterprise subscription tiers. Yubico hasn't yet revealed which apps might next launch support for the YubiKey NEO on iOS devices. YubiKey can already securely log users in on macOS 10.12 or later, and the product integrates with hundreds of services and applications online.

Those interested can purchase the YubiKey NEO from the company's website for $50.

Top Rated Comments

archer75 Avatar
42 months ago
Just doesn't work with enough services I actually use. At a minimum amazon needs to support it. And of course more online stores and services.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsfrederick Avatar
42 months ago
The Yubikey can implement multiple schemes. One protocol here is called Yubico OTP. This is a Yubico proprietary HOTP-like scheme, and relies on a shared secret held by Yubico. It is a one-way protocol, which means that it can be handled via iOS's read-only NFC support. It is broadly similar to OATH HOTP, but again, to eliminate provisioning, it, by default, relies on a shared secret installed and held by Yubico and their verification servers. (You can overwrite this with a custom server and verify yourself). The major weakness of this scheme is that it is not resistant to man-in-the-middle attacks.

OATH HOTP is a second option. That is the event-based Authly/Google Authenticator. It requires individual provisioning, does not require a trusted third-party, but does nothing to protect against MITM.

The Yubikey can also implement U2F, which does protect against man-in-the-middle attacks. However, U2F requires two-way communication with the fob, which cannot be done with the current NFC framework in iOS. The solution is that there are a number of BLE U2F tokens, which do work with iOS.

In my opinion, because Yubico OTP is obsolete. It relies on Yubico's servers and secrets and does not protect against MITM like U2F does. It is similar to other services now gone (Symantec VIP).
konqerror, you analysis is SPOT ON! YubiOTP is still a "shared secret" solution. Yubico has taken the shared secret model about as far his it can. It's really a combination of both HOTP and TOTP, there is a counter element and a time element, as well as some other data that is incorporated into the OTP that is genereated. Self Hosted OTP validation server is rather easy, that's what I do at home.

Completely agree that U2F is much better. It's a modern, asymmetric encryption solution. Unfortunately, it only works with web based services today, and requires a web browser that understands U2F. Currently only Chrome and Firefox. FIDO2 should remove these limitations and open up this functionality to not web services. I am looking forward to having FIDO 2 support for everything!

I also hope that Apple will open up the NFC interface to third party developers soon. That would be a great win for ALL customers.

I have looked at the BLE stuff. Still not as easy to use as the Yubikey. Requires a battery, and are considerably thicker that the Yubikey. I still have my original Yubikey I purchased in 2009. Still works, even after being washed at least twice.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
archer75 Avatar
42 months ago


Absolutely! That is a big issue. I request Yubikey support for every service I use. Have been asking my bank for YK support for many years. I finally got some traction over the last few months. Let's see what happens...

I have actually been successful in some cases with the requests. Many times, it's just that the services does not know about the Yubikey value. I have and conversations with a number of services and discuss this topic. Not all are open to the idea, but some are.
That's a good idea. I'll get a hold of my credit union. They seem very interested in adopting new technologies. Even though yubikey isn't new.
I'm surprised Chase isn't on the list. Or other major banks.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsfrederick Avatar
42 months ago
Never heard of YubiKey before, and since reading this I’ve done a little research. I have been using Authy up until this point, which I only have running on my iPhone (and not the chrome extension on macOS, as an example).

Is YubiKey far more secure than Authy? What are folks personal experience with using YubiKey on various websites? Have you completely replaced an authenticator app with YubiKey?

Also, does YubiKey work with Brave browser on macOS? I’ve seen reviews where it only works on Chrome, yet I’ve seen it mentioned on GitHub it has been in development for a couple years now.
In my opinion, yes the Yubikey is more secure. First, it's an external hardware token with a cryptographic engine on it. Authy (and Google authenticator, as well as others) use a "shared secret" That means that the web site you log into has your shared secret. If that is compromised, then all bets are of. Yubikey uses U2F, which is a public/private key solution. The web site does NOT have the secret key, only the public key. Even if they get your public key, a hacker cannot log in without your private key.

The YK also standard standardOTP (similar to Authy), as well as an enhanced Yubico OTP. As long as the web site supports Yubico OTP or U2F, you are good. OTP is independent of the web browser, it is based in the web site. U2F does require a compatible browser. Right now Chrome and Firefox are the only ones to support it. Hopefully Safari will be coming soon. MS will provide Edge support soon also.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
Apple Leak Feature

Apple Demands Leaker Reveals Sources Under Threat of Being Reported to Police

Wednesday July 28, 2021 6:53 am PDT by
Apple has sent a cease and desist letter to a leaker based in China as part of its continuing attempts to curtail leaks of unreleased products, according to Vice. A Chinese citizen who shared images of stolen Apple prototypes on social media was sent a warning letter from Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. An extract from the letter read:You have disclosed without ...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...