YubiKey 5 NFC Security Key Setup and Configuration

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Securing your access to resources should be top of psyche. It’s relatively easy for tribes to get your passwords these days- particularly with the frequent dealer transgress- fixing something like two-factor authentication( 2FA) or multi-factor authentication( MFA) a inevitability. I personally use a combination of an encrypted password arch to store confidentials and Yubico’s YubiKey to act as my protection key and Google Authenticator as my one time password( OTP) generator.

Security can be hard.

The multiple factors of authentication consist of three characters: what you know( passwords, codes ), who you are( biometics ), and what you have( tokens, badge, ID ). I’ve been using a YubiKey 4 USB-A edition security key for almost 2 years to provide a “what you have” factor to the security equation. It has worked without any issues across GitHub, AWS, Azure, Google, Windows Hello, and many others.

However, I wanted to revisit my process after to purchase a brand-new Google Pixel 4 XL to supplant my Google Pixel 2 XL( I use Google Fi ). I was juggling Google Authenticator as my default OTP generator and using the YubiKey simply in my laptop as a security key. This felt inefficient. Looking around revealed a whole new generation of YubiKeys with different feature sets.

I’ve recently purchased a brand-new YubiKey 5 NFC( near environment communication) for $45 on Amazon. My main goals are 😛 TAGEND Having a primary and backup YubiKey impedes me from locking myself out of specific reports should I lose the primary and follows Yubico’s recovery plan recommendation.( See this support article, extremely) The NFC feature lets me use the YubiKey as a protection key on mobile! It will too abbreviate the friction when rendering OTPs on my Android phone with the Yubico Authenticator, eliminating my need to use Google Authenticator( which is bound to a single telephone and a grief to migrate to new telephones ).

In this announce, I’ll go through the various setup and configuration items to get the YubiKey solution up and running. This will focus on my specific placed of inventions across the Windows and Android ecosystem.

Yubico Authenticator

The Yubico Authenticator app offers an opportunity to place your credentials on a YubiKey and not on your mobile phone. It’s the first thing I tend to install on my Windows or Android device. This is the application that will let you work with stored details that you have configured for 2FA/ MFA, such as GitHub or AWS, on your YubiKeys. You knows where to find all Yubico downloads now.

Note: At the time of this post, the latest and greatest Windows version is 5.0.1 and Android version is 2.2.0.

The Yubico Authenticator work discovers the accounts that have been stored on the YubiKey and allows details to be added, removed, or mount as a favorite. It’s similar to the Google Authenticator, except that it is bound to your YubiKey instead of your Android phone.

Let’s start by setting up the YubiKey for OTP with GitHub, including NFC integration, so that there’s a concrete example to follow. Other reports will be setup in a similar politenes, but make sure to first read their documentation.

YubiKey OTP Configuration

The first method that we’ll integrate with GitHub is through OTP generation. This will provide a six toe 2FA code when entering into GitHub.

To setup 😛 TAGENDInsert your YubiKey and fire up the Yubico Authenticator.Follow the Configuring two-factor authentication using a TOTP mobile app instructions on the GitHub site. This boils down to scanning a QR code to setup your account.Save the Recovery Codes someplace safe, such as an encrypted confidentials roof or a piece of paper in a fireproof safe!

You now have a GitHub OTP generator prepared for authentication.

The Yubico Authenticator app is straightforward in design.

Validate that using the 6 toe code generates the Yubico Authenticator agreed to accept clicking on the GitHub account in the application and then pressing the yellow-bellied’ Y’ button on the YubiKey when prompted. The button will likewise gradually flash light-green in a” satisfy press me” mode. Enter the code into GitHub’s 2FA request.

Note: There is a small circle that appears to the bottom right of the account that tags how much meter remaining until the code is invalidated.

The account is now configured on your YubiKey. If you need an OTP, insert the YubiKey into your laptop and reiterate the above steps. The YubiKey will work in any maneuver there is a desire and can itself be password protected, if desired.

You too have the ability to switch security keys or plug numerou protection keys into the laptop. This makes adding two YubiKeys to a service( one as primary, the other as a backup) fairly simple.

Being able to swap between protection keys while they are both plugged in is nice.

If a service doesn’t allow for multiple security keys to be added, you can store the secret value or QR code somewhere safe and use it on your backup machine in case of losing the primary. For more on creating a backup YubiKey, this getting started page is handy.

If you don’t have the funds to splurge for a second YubiKey, you can use an alternative method( such as Google Authenticator) as your backup plan.

YubiKey OTP Configuration for Android NFC

The next gradation is to install the Yubico Authenticator on Android using the Google Play store. I immediately change the app’s color theme to Dark or AMOLED by navigate to Settings> Theme. In Android, make sure you have NFC enabled by visiting Settings> Connected Invention> Connection Predilection> NFC.

Once done, sound the YubiKey 5 NFC onto the back of the phone to display the known notes. Each accounting will show Press button for code … where the system “couldve been”. When you sounds on the account, a sense will appear asking you to once again tap the YubiKey 5 NFC against the phone to expose the OTP for a short while before it is invalidated.

Note: The NFC ” hot spot” for Google Pixel sits is on the back of the phone towards the top( near the camera ).

The YubiKey 5 NFC can be used with any number of Android devices.

This is extremely handy for retrieving accountings that need to be viewed over portable. For me, that’s mostly GitHub, Twitter, Reddit, and CloudFlare. It’s also nice for generate OTPs and using them on my laptop without having to insert the YubiKey into the laptop.

Next, let’s cover how to setup the YubiKey as a insurance key for GitHub. This eliminates the need for OTP generation and seriously modernizes the entire process.

YubiKey Security Key Configuration

Because GitHub subsistences WebAuthn( witness this post ), we can use a YubiKey as a certificate key. This works for Windows via Windows Security and Android. This will require firstly configuring Windows Security to know about the security key.

Windows Security Key Setup

To set up a insurance key, go to Start> Settings> Accounts> Sign-in alternatives, and select Security Key. Select Manage and follow the instructions to setup a brand-new PIN. This will be used when setting up a new account to validate the request.

Setting up the YubiKey as a certificate key with a PIN.

Whenever you want to use your security key to integrate with a new accounting, a Windows Security stimulate will first ask you to input your PIN. After that, the PIN will not be required for the history you’ve configured. It will be required for any brand-new accounts you wish to setup.

GitHub Security Key Setup

Now that Windows has the YubiKey configured, it’s time to add a brand-new protection key to GitHub. The Configuring two-factor authentication using a certificate key post describes this process in great detail.

When you reach the” Activate your security key, following your security key’s documentation” step, the Windows Security prompting will be presented and ask for you to enter the security key PIN value.

After this, you can log back into GitHub and select the Use security key option. This will require touching the YubiKey’s gold’ Y’ button to approve the request as shown below.

YubiKey Security Key Configuration for Android NFC

In order to use the YubiKey as a certificate key over NFC, open up Chrome on Android and steer to GitHub. When logging in, make sure to select the security key option. When you click on the Use security key button, a series of configuration motivates will appear.

The first elicit is a Get Started wizard.

Next, hand-picked how you wish to use the security key by choosing Use security key with NFC to continue.

The final step is to authorize the request. Tap the YubiKey NFC against the phone once more.

That’s all there is to using its own security key alternative. Easy!

Who Else Supports 2FA or MFA?

Support for 2FA is somewhat sporadic and random, with some organizations limited to using a OTP via SMS. That’s better than good-for-nothing, but not the final goal. The tribes at Two Factor Auth List have developed in partnership an easy to use open root repository and website that you can leverage.

I will say that both GitHub and Microsoft are great about 2FA. They both backing multiple certificate keys, which is great for the primary/ backup insurance key simulate, and allow me to choose between OTP and security key authentication. See this post if you’re interested in setting up a password-less Microsoft Azure AD integration.

You can configure several protection keys for your Microsoft account.

I’ve also disabled the old SMS( verse send) sanction workflow for both reports in favour of having hard copy recovery keys stored in a lock casket should I absolutely lose all of my YubiKeys.

YubiKey Manager

If you want to adventure further with your YubiKey, snag the YubiKey Manager. It provides the ability to really customize the configuration of the YubiKey, measure which facets are available for the two interfaces( USB and NFC ), and options for setting up a Personal Identity Verification( PIV ).

You can limit what each YubiKey interface adds, if desired.

The only thing I’ve done in now was changed the default values for the PIV’s PIN and PUK configuration.


I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface of what I can do to help secure my life with YubiKey. In the future, I’d like to set up some of the things that Macro Pivetta summarizes in his great post entitled” YubiKey for SSH, Login, 2FA, GPG and Git Signing“- specially the git ratifying!


The post YubiKey 5 NFC Security Key Setup and Configuration seemed first on Wahl Network.

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Robert F
Author: Robert F


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