A diagnosis of an early iOS 14 build reveals that iCloud Keychain might get support for two-factor authentication codes and an alert functionality to notify the user if a password is being reused.
Based on iOS 14 code, 9to5Mac learnt that the alleged two-factor authentication codes would require only using iCloud Keychain, without email, text alert or other authentication methods, to sign in on compatible websites. The aim is to provide more secure 2FA features, as opposed to unreliable SMS and email methods, which can be manipulated by bypassing techniques like SIM hacking.
iCloud Keychain is a native iOS and macOS password manager. The feature saves user’s credit cards details and passwords for fast and easy access when making online purchases and logging in to websites. Therefore, it is very important for the feature to keep the information secure and eliminate vulnerability as much as possible.
At the moment, iCloud Keychain only saves passwords and credit/debit cards, which has made is fall short against more secure third-party apps like LastPass and 1Password. Both of these competing apps already offer warnings for reused passwords and two-factor authentication codes. But the draw back is that LastPass and 1Password, both charge more than $35 per annum for their service, which will be a beneficial edge for Apple’s new iCloud Keychain feature, if it is updated as rumored in iOS 14. As a built-in feature, iCloud Keychain is free in all Apple devices, like iPhone, iPad and Mac. If the news turns out to be true, we believe that Apple users will appreciate the updates.
The use of same passwords for multiple sites and apps puts user security at risk; if a re-used password is hacked for a site, it can be used by the perpetrator to access other accounts as well.
There is mixed response to the news of an updated password manager. On 9to5Mac’s twitter post, some welcomed the alleged upgrade and others were requesting for a separate app by Apple to manage passwords on iOS and MacOS devices.
There are several rumors that the launch and release of many Apple products will be pushed back due to COVID-19 related lockdowns in the world. Opposing claims by suppliers and anonymous Apple employees say that work is on schedule without any delay. We will know for sure if iOS 14 will have updated iCloud Keychain feature in June’s WWDC online event.