To stop phishing, Google gave security keys to all employees

Google’s 89,000+ employees have had zero phishing incidents since switching to hardware security keys in 2017

The DNC was ultimately breached within weeks of Mr. Podesta's account after Russian hackers used a phishing email to compromise an employee of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and subsequently installed malware on that organization's network, according to the indictment.

In 2017, the tech giant began giving out physical security keys to all 85,000 employees, according to KrebsOnSecurity.

Google attributes its success to products called "security keys", or USB devices that you need in addition to a password in order to log in to a protected account.

Google hasn't experienced any successful phishing attacks since early previous year, the company has revealed, thanks to the company-wide use of physical security keys.

"Users might be asked to authenticate using their security key for many different apps/reasons", said a Google spokesperson. "It all depends on the sensitivity of the app and the risk of the user at that point in time", the Google representative added.

Security keys are a different form of multifactor authentication known as Universal Second Factor (U2F), which lets the user finish the login process by inserting the key into a USB port and pressing a button on the little fob. To break into your account, a hacker has to not only know your password, but personally come and steal your security key from you.

Google’s 89,000+ employees have had zero phishing incidents since switching to hardware security keys in 2017
None of Google's 85,000 employees have been successfully phished in over a year - and it's because of a simple $20 product anyone can use

U2F security keys are the most secure way to enable 2FA for all of your online accounts.

For those unfamiliar with such devices, they are basically USB sticks that when plugged into a computer will authenticate the user using it. If the Security Key is present, the user will be able to log into any website that is attached to the device.

More platforms like Dropbox, Facebook and Github are now using U2F which is an emerging open source authentication standard. Browsers supporting U2F include Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. Support is also coming to Microsoft Edge but Krebs reports that Apple has not said when they'll be supporting it in Safari.

In October 2017, Google launched an advanced protection program for people who may have the highest risk of being phished, including journalists, business leaders, and activists, using YubiKey devices.

Phishing attacks are deceptively successful against less experienced users, but even those that consider themselves reasonably technical can occasionally fall prey to the simple approach.

'If John Podesta had Advanced Protection past year, the world might be a very different place, ' said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, who was briefed on the new features by Google.

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