Feeds

Mozilla links Gmail with Persona for email-based single sign-on

Usernames and passwords not needed

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Mozilla Foundation has unveiled a new Identity Bridge that links its Persona single sign-on technology with Gmail, allowing all Gmail users to log in to Persona-enabled sites without entering a username or password.

Persona works by having users register their email addresses with a server called a Persona Identity Provider (IdP), which will then authenticate their identities for other websites using a system based on public-key cryptography, rather than traditional usernames and passwords.

Because most internet users haven't registered with a Persona IdP, however – and many don't even know such things exist – Mozilla has developed Identity Bridging as a stopgap measure until Persona is more widely supported.

A Persona Identity Bridge authenticates users using either the OpenID or OAuth protocols – most major email providers offer one or the other – and then translates the results into the Persona protocol for use with Persona-enabled websites.

Mozilla introduced its Identity Bridging system with Persona Beta 2 in April, which included an Identity Bridge for Yahoo! Mail. With the addition of the Identity Bridge for Gmail, Mozilla says some 700 million email users now have built-in support for Persona – they don't have to sign up for any new services or create any new accounts.

They don't need to send any additional information to Google or Yahoo!, either. As Mozilla's Dan Callahan wrote in a blog post on Thursday, "Persona remains committed to privacy: Gmail users can sign into sites with Persona, but Google can't track which sites they sign into."

Mozilla has previously said that it is working to bring Persona support to more large email providers, and that its eventual goal is to provide support for "over half of the worldwide internet population." Between the Gmail and Yahoo! Identity Bridges, Callahan says roughly 60 to 80 per cent of North American web users are already covered.

Note, however, that in El Reg's tests, the Gmail Identity Bridge only worked with addresses from the actual Gmail domain. Addresses from private domains that offer Gmail via Google Apps confused it.

If you have a Gmail address, Mozilla suggests you try out Persona by signing in to any Persona-enabled website, such as Mozilla's Webmaker. Website owners who are interested in adding Persona to their own sites can find more information here. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
One HUNDRED FAMOUS LADIES exposed NUDE online
Celebrity women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds
Another day, another way in to your home router
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NZ Justice Minister scalped as hacker leaks emails
Grab your popcorn: Subterfuge and slur disrupts election run up
HP: NORKS' cyber spying efforts actually a credible cyberthreat
'Sophisticated' spies, DIY tech and a TROLL ARMY – report
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?