GitHub, the popular Git repository, is now supporting the FIDO Alliance’s Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) standard for its users. In a blog post, the service described U2F as “a rapidly growing open authentication standard.”
That’s true, and GitHub’s support could add a lot of extra steam to that growth. GitHub is the most popular code repository in the world, with millions of web developers storing and sharing their work on the hosting service every day. Its embrace of U2F could therefore encourage many of these developers to start considering the implementation of the FIDO U2F standard in their own apps and products, further improving digital security around the world.
It’s probably the most high-profile support that the U2F standard has received since Google announced Google Accounts support last fall. That was welcome news to U2F hardware key maker Yubico, which helped to create the U2F standard and is now partnering with GitHub to offer special promotions for its YubiKeys to GitHub users.
Special offers aside, though, it’s worth emphasizing again the intangible benefits of GitHub’s support. While it could spur the development of more apps and products implementing the U2F standard, it’s also undeniably raising awareness about security. As GitHub’s blog post concludes: “We hope you’ll take this step to keep your information secure.”