GitHub now supports Web Authentication (WebAuthn) for security keys—the new standard for secure authentication on the web. Starting today, you can use security keys for two-factor authentication on GitHub with even more browsers and devices. And, since many browsers are actively working on WebAuthn features, we’re excited about the potential for strong and easy-to-use authentication options for the entire GitHub community in the future.
Previously, GitHub supported physical security keys using the experimental U2F API for Chrome. WebAuthn is the standards-based successor. You can now use physical security keys on GitHub with:
- Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android: Firefox and Chrome-based browsers
- Windows: Edge
- macOS: Safari, currently in Technology Preview but coming soon to everyone
- iOS: Brave, using the new YubiKey 5Ci
But there’s more—GitHub’s move toward WebAuthn makes it possible to use your laptop or phone as a security key without carrying a separate physical key. If you’re using the following browsers, you can register your device today:
- Microsoft Edge on Windows, using Windows Hello (with facial recognition, fingerprint reader, or PIN)
- Chrome on macOS, using Touch ID
- Chrome on Android, using fingerprint reader
And as new browsers and devices support WebAuthn, you’ll have even more choices for secure authentication that automatically work with GitHub.
Account security is critical for GitHub. Although we support strong authentication options, many people still don’t use a password manager or two-factor authentication because individual passwords have always been the easiest choice.
Because platform support is not yet ubiquitous, GitHub currently supports security keys as a supplemental second factor. But we’re evaluating security keys as a primary second factor as more platforms support them. In addition, WebAuthn can make it possible to support login using your device as a “single-factor” security key with biometric authentication instead of a password. Although we’re not ready to announce further plans, we’ll continue to pursue ways to make secure authentication as easy as possible for everyone on GitHub.