An Etsy Engineer Made Earrings To Hold Your Two-Factor Security Keys

Finally, a useful infosec accessory for a femme audience.

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Dec 5 2017, 5:06pm

Image: Samantha Goldstein

One of the admittedly dumb reasons I’ve yet to invest in a YubiKey, a USB device that makes two-factor authentication more secure, is that I’m afraid I’d lose it.

You can easily attach the device to a keychain, but there are plenty of times when I need to access my email or other accounts but don’t have my house keys. I could slip it in a pocket, but many women’s clothes don't have them.

Thankfully, an Etsy engineer has come up with a great solution. Samantha Goldstein created a pair of earrings that can store a YubiKey, making it pretty damn hard to lose the device. She laser cut wood and acrylic for the base, and then used sterling silver for the posts. The key slides into the base portion for safe keeping. Goldstein plans to put up a small batch for sale later this week on her Etsy store.

“Between my work badge and my phone (and sometimes my computer) I’m lugging around a lot of accessories all the time,” Goldstein told me in a Twitter direct message. “I wanted a way to carry around a Yubikey but not burden myself with one more thing to carry in my hands.”

Other YubiKey earrings have been created in the past, but Goldstein’s is the first to conceal the device in a stylish way, rather than just dangling it from a hoop.

This isn’t the first time Goldstein has blended technology with fashion. In the past, she’s built RFID rings and necklaces as replacements for her work badge, and designed a shimmering dress embedded with soft circuits.

Read More: ‘VanitySec’ Is Where Hackers Get Fashion Tips

There are lots of accessories that cater to the infosec community, but what felt special about Goldstein’s earrings is that they were created with a femme audience in mind. Oftentimes, Goldstein told me, tech accessories geared toward femme people are fashionable, but not necessarily practical.

“I haven’t seen as many useful tech accessories in this space,” she said. “There are a lot of everyday objects made to look like technology, but I don’t see a lot of technology made to look like everyday objects.”

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