On Wednesday, Apple announced its plan to feature “two-factor authentication” built into iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan to bolster security.
In June, Apple revealed that the feature would be integrated into OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9, but did not reveal how two-factor authentication would actually work in the upcoming operating systems. This week, Apple posted a new support page which detailed the security feature. “Two-factor authentication is an additional layer of security for your Apple ID that is designed to prevent unauthorized access to your account and protect the photos, documents, and other data that you store with Apple. Two-factor authentication can keep your account secure even if someone has your password. And since it’s built right in to iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan, it’s easy to use,” said Apple. The two-factor authentication is currently an opt-in feature for beta users and will roll out to more users as Apple solidifies the process.
The new two-factor authentication process requires users to enter a 6 digit verification code when signing into new devices. This code will be automatically displayed on Apple devices or can be sent via text messages or phone call. Once verified, the new device will automatically become trusted. Apple also plans to kill the Recovery Key – a 14 character code used in the current (soon to be previous) two-step verification process for users who forgot their password. With the new system, users will need to call Apple to request account recovery if they cannot sign in, reset their passwords, or receive verification codes. “Account recovery will take a few days–or longer–depending on what account information you are able to provide,” explained Apple. “The process is designed to get you back into your account as quickly as possible while denying access to anyone who might be pretending to be you.” The new process will be available for users with the official roll out of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan in September.