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Windows 10 could eliminate two major online security headaches

Published Oct 23rd, 2014 6:30PM EDT
Windows 10 New Security Features

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We’ve seen a bunch of hugely promising new features that Microsoft has added to Windows 10 via its Technical Preview but this might be the most important one yet. ZDNet’s Ed Bott gives us a detailed rundown of the new two-factor authentication system that Microsoft is implementing with Windows 10 and he says it has the potential to effectively cripple phishing attacks and password database breaches, which are two of the most popular tactics hackers use to gain unauthorized access to our online accounts.

LEARN MORE: Everything we know about Windows 10

By now you’re probably familiar with two-factor authentication, which typically involves sending you a separate access code via either email or SMS that you enter in after you’ve entered in your password onto a website. This technique prevents hackers from using your password to access your online accounts unless they have access to either your email account or your cell phone as well since that would be the only way for them to get the proper code to enter into the website.

Now, Bott explains that Microsoft has plans to bring this extra layer of security to its entire computing platform.

“The feature… will allow the owner of a Windows 10 device (PC, tablet, or phone) to enroll that device as trusted for the purposes of authentication,” writes Bott. “In combination with a PIN or biometric proof, such as a fingerprint, the user will be able to sign in to any supported mobile service… If that PIN is stolen in a database breach or phishing attack, the thief will be unable to access any services, because the hardware part of the two-factor authentication requirement isn’t present. Likewise, a stolen device without the necessary PIN will be useless.”

Bott’s full explanation for how this new feature will work is worth reading and can be found at the source link below.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.