YubiKey offers multi-factor authentication or two-step verification for different online accounts including social media platforms (e.g., facebook, twitter, etc.), mail platforms (e.g., gmail), cloud storages (e.g., Dropbox), or other financial services (e.g., coinbase). It is a simple small flash drive-alike device that comes with different interfacing (USB-A, USB-C, etc.) so that you can easily connect the hardware to your computer or mobile phone.
Multi-factor authentication or two-step verifications require two types of information to provide secure access to an online account. These two types of information can be selected from any of the following:
- Something You Have
- Something You Are
- Something You Know
Here, password (Something you know) is the mostly used verification step. However, the password alone is not secure and can be hijacked via keyloggers or social media or insecure communication media. In that case, bio-metrics (something you are) or RFID/Authentication App, tokens, or keys (something you have) can provide an extra layer of verification to keep online accounts safe from the attackers.
YubiKey can be used as both something you know and have. A generic YubiKey provides the following functions:
- OTP generation
- OATH compatible OTP generation
- replaying static password
- being able to generate public/private key pairs
YubiKey supports a variety of devices and can be used in cross-platforms. The price ranges from $25-50$ dollars and it can be a perfect gift for security researchers.
You can find it at Amazon.com.