Yubico, a company that makes physical security keys for two-factor authentication, today announced the launch of its Lightning-based YubiKey device that's designed to work with Apple's iPhones and iPads.

Yubico has long offered USB-A, USB-C, and NFC-based YubiKey options for PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, but this is the first time that a Lightning-based accessory has been made available.

yubico4
For those unfamiliar with YubiKey, it is a hardware-based two-factor authentication device designed to work with hundreds of services to make your logins more secure. It's often more convenient than software-based two-factor authentication because there's no need to enter a security code - just connect it and tap to authenticate.

The new YubiKey 5Ci, which was first introduced in January at CES, features a Lightning port at one end and a USB-C port at the other end, so it works with Apple's latest iOS devices and Macs, with the exception of the iPad Pro, as it is not compatible with the USB-C side at the current time.

yubico1
With the YubiKey 5Ci, users can lock down their 1Password, Bitwarden Idaptive, LastPass, and Okta apps with hardware authentication. At the current time, it also works with the Brave browser for iOS, authenticating logins from sites like Twitter, Login.gov, GitHub, Bitbucket, 1Password, and others.

yubico3
With the 1Password app, for example, you can set up two-factor authentication using the YubiKey to add an additional layer of protection for your 1Password account. This will require both your master password and your physical YubiKey to unlock your vault, with the app instructing you to plug in the YubiKey and touch the side button to confirm.


At the current time, the YubiKey 5Ci for iOS devices does not work with other apps or browsers as app developers and browser creators need to build in support. Yubico says that it is working with other developers through its Yubico Developer Program.

The USB-C side of the YubiKey works with USB-C Windows and Mac machines, and it is compatible with dozens of websites and services, with a list available on the Yubico website.

yubico2
Like other YubiKey options in the 5 series, the YubiKey 5Ci supports multiple authentication protocols, including IDO2/WebAuthn, FIDO U2F, OTP (one-time password), PIV (Smart Card), and OpenPGP.

Those interested in the YubiKey 5Ci can purchase it for $70 from the Yubico website starting today.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Yubico. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tag: YubiKey

Top Rated Comments

thefarang Avatar
22 months ago
I like the idea but wonder how many people need this level of protection. But my biggest complaint is that there seems to be no protection for the connectors. Damage one pin and you're locked out. Maybe a case would be appropriate.
The USB ones hold up pretty well. I was concerned too but I've had mine on my keychain for a year now and it works fantastically. Lightening pins? We'll see, I guess. USB-C side, not too much of a worry. They already make one of those and I haven't heard anybody complaining about it holding up to being on your keychain full time.
[doublepost=1566322737][/doublepost]
What if you lose the key?
I think it's a bit unfortunate that YubiCo doesn't do a better job at explaining that most people should buy two devices. One as your primary and one as your backup. Most sites will let you register multiple keys so you can lose or destroy one key and use your backup.

That said, sites like Twitter only allow you to use one key so it's pointless because if you lost your key or it was damaged, you would be locked out of your Twitter account.

Personally, I have 3 devices and will probably buy one of these. I have two of the YubiKey5 and one YubiKey4 that I got from Wired.

I keep one at home near my computer in case I need it, one in my wallet, and one on my keychain. I use the keychain 99% of the time. The wallet is mostly an emergency backup and the one at home is when I'm too lazy to go in the other room and get my keychain :-)

Overall, my biggest complaint about the whole Yubikey security strategy is that more sites don't use it.

It's frustrating that none of my banks or brokerage firms support it. Most still use SMS, which is famously flawed.

Maybe it comes with one. But I don't think I'd leave it on my keychain. It just looks too fragile.
[doublepost=1566315344][/doublepost]

This seems designed for people who need the highest level of security on their phones. Like the CIA. I trust Apple's system well enough.
It's not about the security on your phone, it's about the security of your accounts. This particular product integrates with Apple's lightening connector but the idea is that in order to log into any of your accounts, you have to have a physical device (i.e. the Yubi key).

When I log into Gmail, I have to have they key. When I log into login.gov (where they have tons of sensitive info about users), you have to have the key.

You might even think about it as being a physical form of being sent a verification code. But instead of waiting for a text message or push notification, you insert your key, click the button, and you're verified.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crowbot Avatar
22 months ago
I like the idea but wonder how many people need this level of protection. But my biggest complaint is that there seems to be no protection for the connectors. Damage one pin and you're locked out. Maybe a case would be appropriate.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
apple watch ecg

Apple Watch Likely to Gain Blood Pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Alcohol Monitoring

Monday May 3, 2021 4:03 am PDT by
The Apple Watch may gain the ability to measure blood pressure, blood glucose, and blood alcohol levels, according to newly-revealed information about one of Apple's chosen business partners. Apple has been revealed to be the largest customer of the British electronics start-up Rockley Photonics, The Telegraph reports. Rockley Photonics has developed non-invasive optical sensors for...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Brydge's 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Keyboard With Trackpad

Tuesday May 4, 2021 11:48 am PDT by
Brydge has been making keyboards for Apple's iPads for years now, and the newest model, the Brydge 12.9 MAX+, is compatible with the third, fourth, and fifth-generation iPad Pro models, so it works even with the new mini-LED iPad Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In our latest YouTube video, we checked out the new Brydge 12.9 MAX+ to see if it's a viable...
iphone 13 pro max dummy notch

iPhone 13 Pro Max Dummy Model Depicts Smaller Notch

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 13 models are expected to feature a slimmed down notch, marking the first major change to the TrueDepth camera system since it was introduced in the 2017 iPhone X. We're still months away from the launch of the iPhone 13, but Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy managed to get an iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy model that represents what we can expect from the new 2021 device. Dummy...
Flat 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1

Mini-LED Display Production Improving for Redesigned MacBook Pro Models Later This Year

Monday May 3, 2021 8:33 am PDT by
Apple supplier TSMT, a key vendor involved in the production of mini-LED displays in the newly announced 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has been able to address technical challenges for the production of mini-LED displays to be used in the upcoming 14 and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pro models. As reported by DigiTimes, TSMT had initially been facing production constraints with the circuit board and...
netflix sign up

Apple Discussed 'Punitive Measures' Against Netflix for Dropping In-App Purchases

Wednesday May 5, 2021 11:03 am PDT by
As the Epic Games v. Apple trial progresses into its third day, Apple's internal documents and communications with various companies are continuing to surface, giving us some insight into the dealings that Apple has had around the App Store. Back in December 2018, Netflix stopped offering in-app subscription options for new or resubscribing members and instead began requiring them to sign up ...
airtags

AirTag Owners Bemoan Inability to Let Others Track Their Items Via Family Sharing

Tuesday May 4, 2021 5:12 am PDT by
Apple's new AirTag item trackers have been making their way into the hands of customers since Friday, and while the company has tried to describe the ways that they can be used to find lost items, many users are still surprised and disappointed to learn that the location of an AirTag can't be shared with other family members. On the face of it, sharing the location of an AirTag via Apple's...