Google brings in USB-C Titan security keys for US customers

Google has introduced a new USB-C variant of its Titan security keys that were introduced in the UK in August this year and can be purchased as bundles from the Google Store for £50 apiece.

Even though Titan security keys were first introduced in the United States in August last year, Google brought the product to the UK, Japan, Canada, and France in August this year, offering users round-the-clock protection from threats like phishing and social engineering attacks.

According to Google, Titan security keys, which are based on FIDO standards, are "the strongest, most phishing-resistant method of 2-step verification (2SV)" and secure users' Google accounts from hijacking attempts. Not only can they authenticate Google accounts, but also users' accounts with other popular platforms such as Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, Salesforce, Stripe, Twitter, and other services that support FIDO standards.

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"The firmware performing the cryptographic operations has been engineered by Google with security in mind. This firmware is sealed permanently into a secure element hardware chip at production time in the chip production factory. The secure element hardware chip that we use is designed to resist physical attacks aimed at extracting firmware and secret key material.

"These permanently-sealed secure element hardware chips are then delivered to the manufacturing line which makes the physical security key device. Thus, the trust in Titan Security Key is anchored in the sealed chip as opposed to any other later step which takes place during device manufacturing," said Christiaan Brand, product manager at Google Cloud.

New USB-C Titan security keys available only to US customers

Existing versions of Titan security key bundles contain a USB security key, a Bluetooth security key, a USB-C to USB-A Adaptor, a Micro USB to USB-A connecting cable, and product guides. However, people using smartphones, tablets, and other devices with USB-C ports will no longer require USB-C to USB-A adaptors as Google has introduced new USB-C Titan security keys that are compatible with Android, Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows devices.

"USB-C Titan Security Keys are built with a hardware secure element chip that includes firmware engineered by Google to verify the key’s integrity. This is the same secure element chip and firmware that we use in our existing USB-A/NFC and Bluetooth/NFC/USB Titan Security Key models manufactured in partnership with Feitian Technologies.

"USB-C Titan Security Keys will be available tomorrow individually for $40 on the Google Store in the United States. USB-A/NFC and Bluetooth/NFC/USB Titan Security Keys will also become available individually in addition to the existing bundle. Bulk orders are available for enterprise organisations in select countries," said Google in a blog post published on Monday.

While there is no update on when the new USB-C security keys will be introduced in the UK, considering that the security keys are already available to purchase on Google's UK store, it could be only a matter of time before the USB-C version is brought to the market.

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