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In a recent post on its Security Blog, Google announced that it’s making some changes to its Titan security key lineup that will see it ditch Bluetooth in favor of NFC wireless technology.
The changes will give consumers two nearly identical key options going forward, with the only difference between them being the type of connector on board: one will be USB-A while the other will support USB-C.
This is a departure from the old lineup which also featured both USB-A and USB-C keys, however the USB-C model didn’t support NFC, opting for Bluetooth connectivity instead.
“Since NFC functionality is now supported by a wide range of Android phones and iPhones, we are discontinuing the Bluetooth Titan Security Key and focusing on the easier and more widely available NFC capability,” writes Christiaan Brand, a Product Manager at Google Cloud and the blog post’s author.
Google’s Titan security keys are used as an additional layer of protection for a user’s Google account, keeping it locked even if their username and password were obtained by a hacker. The keys also work with third party apps that support FIDO standards and can prevent phishing attacks by refusing to authenticate a login to a fake website that may be used to steal a user’s credentials.
This is the latest in a recent series of security-focused announcements by the tech giant, and comes at a time when cybercrime has seen dramatic growth due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though Google’s previous USB-C Titan key was made in collaboration with Yubico, it is unclear whether this latest batch is also a result of that partnership.
Already available through the Google Store, the USB-A key is priced at $30, while the USB-C model is $35.
Sources: The Verge, Engadget