Apple Brings Two-Step Authentication to iMessage and Facetime
It seems Apple has just made a hacker’s job a bit harder. The iPhone maker has finally decided to bring two-step authentication process to iMessage and Facetime. The extra level of security is now part of Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.
The new security measure will add an extra level of protection against notorious hackers who might try to access your accounts. It’s similar to Facebook checkpoint, where a user logs in to his/her account and the system asks for a second security code to verify their identity.
It’s strange why Apple took so long to add this feature to iMessage and Facetime, as it’s been available for iCloud and iTunes since 2013. Now after two years, the same feature has been added to these other services.
Facebook checkpoints generate a random code that is sent to your mobile, which you can use to access your account. Similar to that, random codes will be sent to your registered numbers by Apple, which you will then use to access your account. You will have the option to add more than one phone numbers for this purpose.
Analyzing the situation, Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro said the following:
It’s really great to see Apple extending its two-step authentication to cover more services, particularly person-to-person communication services such as these, which have been so widely abused in the past (Facebook, Skype etc).
If a hacker wants to access your account and if he has your username and password, he will still need an extra code to access your personal account. Although this feature is a welcome one, Ferguson believes that more steps can be taken to enhance security.
Two-step authentication, such as a message to a mobile device, is still not the same as fully-fledged two-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication typically relies on something that you know (a password) in addition to either something you have (eg. a swipe card), or something that you are (a fingerprint).
Hacking is a major issue for companies like Apple, Facebook, Twitter and others. It’s nice to see that they are not oblivious to the fact that their systems aren’t completely secure. Additional security measures may feel like a hassle to us, but a little hassle is better than making it easy for a hacker to access our accounts.