iOS 14 could add two-factor authentication to iCloud Keychain password manager

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setup iCloud keychain
iCloud Keychain password manager could be getting support for an advanced security feature.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iCloud Keychain password manager built into iOS and macOS is reportedly getting support for two-factor authentication. This is a feature now only available in third-party password managers like Dashlane. It would make storing and using passwords more secure.

This new feature was supposedly found in a leaked version of iOS 14 obtained by 9to5mac, which suggests it’ll become available next fall. Presumably, it’ll come to macOS 10.16 at that time too.

Leveling up iCloud Keychain with two-factor authentication

Rather than forcing users to type a username and password every time they sign on to a website or service, iCloud Keychain stores these and automatically fills them in where appropriate.

But many security systems require two-factor authentication. This forces users to not just enter a password, but also a code that can only be obtained through another method, like SMS or email.

If Apple adds support for this technology to iCloud Keychain, it would presumably allow an iPhone, iPad or Mac to generate its own two-factor authentication codes to sign users into sites and services that require them.

If this unconfirmed change does happen, it’ll “sherlock” current password managers, like Dashlane and 1Password. Sherlocking is a long-held practice in which Apple makes third-party applications obsolete by incorporating their features into its operating systems.