Google has announced the launch of an open-source project that will allow vendors to build their own security keys in an effort to help foster the technology’s development.
The initiative is called OpenSK, and allows Nordic chip dongles to be turned into security keys that are FIDO U2F and FIDO2 compliant. Google has gone so far as to publish source code blueprints that can enable users to 3D print their own physical cases for a dongle to mimic the look of commercially manufactured keys.
“While you can make your own fully functional FIDO authenticator today… this release should be considered as an experimental research project to be used for testing and research purposes,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Security keys are essential tools for two-factor authentication (2FA), which allows for a second layer of security to protect data. 2FA requires users to present two types of information — such as a password and fingerprint or face scan — before they can log into a system.
In the blog post on its Security Blog, Google said that it chose to use Nordic dongles because of their affordability and the fact that they support the criteria for FIDO2 standards, like NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy.
Director of product management at Nordic Kjetil Holstad said that he hopes the collaboration will “help the industry gain mainstream adoption of security keys.”
Google did note, however, that it hopes to expand OpenSK to include other chip makers as well.