The first changes we found in iOS 16.3 beta 1 concern security: in fact, support for physical security keys have been added to protect Apple IDs from fraud, phishing and the like

Earlier this month, Apple announced two significant changes related to user security.

The first concerns the Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, a novelty that brings end-to-end encryption to any type of data saved in iCloud, the second change however concerns the possibility of offering a physical security key to be used to obtain two-factor authentication codes required by Apple ID.

Two-factor authentication with Security Keys
We can make this concept as simple as possible with an example. Many banks in the past (including Intesa SanPaolo) used security keys where we could only find 1 key. By touching the key, we made a sequence of numbers appear on the screen, which had to be entered on the bank’s website to authenticate access and allow us to access our account.

Apple’s speech is practically identical. The company offers two-factor authentication for accessing Apple IDs where 6-digit codes are sent to already connected Apple devices or via SMS if there are none. With a physical security key instead, the regulations would be generated by the latter, replacing the current verification codes and providing a higher degree of security to avoid phishing and unauthorized access.

Apple will not be selling these physical security keys but the company will work together with the FIDO Alliance.

Well iOS 16.3 beta 1, as a first novelty, brings with it the addition of compatibility with physical security keys.

Advanced-Data Protection for iCloud
Already active starting from iOS 16.2 in the United States but with iOS 16.3 scheduled for February / March 2023, the function will be supported by many other countries. We don’t have the complete list yet but this is certainly another novelty of iOS 16.3

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