Password manager Bitwarden will soon be able to store passkeys
Bitwarden users will be able to save, store and manage passkeys in the password manager this summer, according to a new announcement on the official Bitwarden blog.
Passkeys is a new authentication standard that promises improved security over traditional use of passwords for authentication. Passkeys are generated on user devices for websites and applications. A critical part of the passkey never leaves the users device, which means that traditional forms of attack against passwords, including phishing and brute force, do not work against passkeys.
Passkeys do have some downsides, including that they are generated on a specific device. To use passkeys on all devices, a user either has to generate these on each of the devices, or use a sync option, if available, to synchronize passkeys across all devices.
Bitwarden's password manager will soon support this functionality. The core functionality is nearly identical to the management of passwords in the application. When Bitwarden users select to create passkeys on websites, Bitwarden recognizes this and suggests to store the passkey in its vault. Logins work exactly the same; a click during login allows users to sign-in using the passkeys stored in Bitwarden's vault.
Integration and some features may depend on the platform and installed apps or browser extensions. All in all though, Bitwarden allows users to save passkeys to their vaults for improved security.
Bitwarden users may also use passkeys to sign-in to their vaults instead of using a master password to do so. The option to sign in with the traditional password remains available. Bitwarden uses the WebAuthn PRF extension to generate secret keys for encrypting vault data. The company notes that end-to-end encryption and its zero knowledge architecture applies to passkeys as well.
Not all sites and services will switch to the passkeys format, but many will offer it as an option in the coming years. Some major organizations, including Google, have already added support for using passkeys instead of passwords.
While it is possible to store passkeys in browsers or on the device, using a password manager or other storage manager that supports syncing will certainly improve the usability for users.
Bitwarden isn't the only password manager that will support the storing of passkeys data in vaults. 1Password, Dashlane, NordPass and others are working on adding support and eliminating the master password.
Bitwarden didn't specify an exact date, but the feature should be available in the coming months for users of the service. The company published two demo videos on its website that offer an overview of using passkeys in Bitwarden and securing Bitwarden with passkeys.
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