IOS 9 to include improved 2-factor authentication

Apple iOS 9 will be released on 16 September, with a new two-factor authentication (2FA) system.

The new 2FA system is claimed to make the Apple ID even harder to break across all Apple devices. When an Apple ID signs on a new device with their password, the user will be prompted for a six-digit verification code sent to either the user's other Apple devices or a designated phone via text or call.

Dennis Fisher, writing on threatpost.com expressed scepticism at the new authentication system: “The system that Apple employs for this is more like a two-step verification method than a true 2FA system, as it doesn't require a physical token or biometric identifier.”

But Apple is adding yet another step to its new verification system. A six-digit password will replace the old four-digit one with the addition of iOS 9, making devices far harder to crack.

The new operating system will also alert users as to when and where their devices are being logged into and will give them an option to block or allow the log-in.

These new security developments come after the massive release of private celebrity photos in August 2014, stolen from cloud storage provided by Apple. iOS 9, also known as Monarch, attempts to cover some of those vulnerabilities.

Upon analysing the new security capability, security researcher at Open Whisper Systems, Frederic Jacobs said that while it won't stop stronger attacks, “It's a strong signal, months after the FBI complained about Apple's default encryption in iOS 8. Notice that Apple does not let you continue without making a 6-digit password or selecting another passcode option.”