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Physical security keys eliminate phishing at Google

July 24, 2018 / Michael Heller

Successful phishing attempts have been eliminated among Google employees following a requirement to use physical security keys in order to gain access to all Google accounts. Google claims it has completely eliminated successful phishing attacks against its employees through the use of physical security keys and Universal Second Factor. Google began introducing and evaluating physical security keys in 2014 and by early 2017 all 85,000-plus Google employees were required to use them when accessing company accounts. In the time since, the company told Brian Krebs, no employee has been successfully phished. A Google spokesperson said the decision to use the Universal Second Factor (U2F) physical security keys instead of software-based one-time-password (OTP) authentication was based on internal testing. "We believe security keys offer the strongest protections against phishing," a Google spokesperson wrote via email. "We did a two-year study that showed that OTP-based authe...