Last week, Mastodon 2.8, a self-hosted social media service, was shipped with Keybase’s brand new proof system. Yesterday, the team behind Keybase announced that this new proof system is now available for all Mastodon servers. With this update, any community will be able to cryptographically connect their profiles to Keybase.
And today, another Keybase announcement! https://t.co/f0OyBJt6tl We launched support for Mastodon (more and more instances getting added) and we are opening our proof integrations, so **any community can connect to Keybase.** pic.twitter.com/kcqiT2P3WX
— Chris Coyne (@malgorithms) April 15, 2019
Keybase is a free security app for groups, communities, families, and friends using which you can affirm your identity across the web. At its core, Keybase is a key directory that maps social media identities to encryption keys. Users can also have an encrypted chat with Keybase’s end-to-end chat service called Keybase Chat.
With Keybase, users can prove a “link” between online identities such as Twitter or Reddit account and their encryption keys. So, instead of relying on a system like OAuth, identities are proven by posting a signed statement on the account a user wants to prove ownership of. For instance, a user just needs to enter their Twitter handle in the Keybase app following which a signed tweet is generated and is sent to Twitter. Once the tweet is posted, the user returns to the Keybase app.
This mechanism makes identity proofs publicly verifiable instead of having to trust that the service is truthful. Though this method is quick and easy, it does have some limitations. Keybase app automatically generates the verification tweet, which users are expected to post. However, the user can edit these tweets. The Keybase team has now updated the proof system, which solves this problem.
When a user claims on Keybase that they are a user on a site, they are redirected to that particular site. The verification is then completed in just two steps:
The site will then show the following row, signaling that the user is verified:
To read the full announcement, visit Keybase’s official website.