For those who wonder what a Digital authentication cyber arms race looks like

It is heavy on the technical content but is entertaining if you spend the time understanding the language.

Defender: Users will enter a username & password, and I will give them an authentication cookie for me to trust in the future.
Attacker: I will watch your network traffic and steal the passwords as they come down the wire.
Defender: I will change the html form to submit over HTTPS, so you won’t see any readable passwords.
Attacker: I will run an active MITM attack as the user loads the login page, and insert Javascript that sends the password to my server in the background.
Defender: I will serve the login page itself over HTTPS too, so you won’t be able to read or change it.
Attacker: I will watch your network traffic and steal the resulting authentication cookies, so I can still impersonate users even without knowing the password.
Defender: I will serve the entire site over HTTPS (and mark the cookie as Secure), so you won’t be able to see any cookies.
Attacker: I will run an active MITM attack against your entire site and serve it over HTTP, letting me see all of your traffic (including passwords and cookies) again.
Defender: I will serve a Strict-Transport-Security header, telling the browser to always refuse to load my site over HTTP (assuming the user has already visited the site over a trusted connection to establish a trust anchor).
Attacker: I will find or compromise a shady certificate authority and get my own certificate for your domain name, letting me run my MITM attack and still serve HTTPS.
Defender: I will serve a Public-Key-Pins header, telling the browser to refuse to load my site with any certificate other than the one I specify.

At this point, there is no reasonable way for the attacker to run an MITM attack without first compromising the browser.

Attacker: I will make a fake login page and phish users for passwords.
Defender: I will add two-factor authentication, making your stolen passwords useless without the non-reusable second factor.
Attacker: I will change my phishing page to request a second factor as well, then immediately use it to log in once. (this will give the attacker a single login session with no way of logging in again, but that is often enough to cause harm)
Defender: I will replace my SMS or TOTP second factor with a private key on a tamper-resistant hardware device, rendering an MITM attack completely unable to use the stolen credential (the private key is used to sign a challenge from the server, and never leaves the device). This also prevents phishing attacks, since the browser will incorporate the site origin into the challenge signed by the private key, and will refuse to send a challenge signed for the defender’s server to any other origin. This is only possible because the browser actively cooperates, unlike purely web-based solutions like SQRL.

Private keys, such as U2F devices, are unphishable credentials; it is now completely impossible for anyone who does not have physical posession of the private key to authenticate. Note that this assumes that the hardware device is trusted; if the attacker can swap the device for a device with a known private key, all bets are off. Also note that you should still use a password in conjuction with the hardware device, to prevent an attacker from simply stealing the device (if the device itself requires a password to operate, that’s also fine).

Attacker: I will trick the user into installing a malicious browser extension or desktop application, then use it to read the authentication cookie from the browser’s cookie jar.
Defender: I will use channel-bound cookies, linking my authentication cookie to the private key used to generate the SSL connection. This way, the authentication cookie will only work in an HTTPS session backed by the same private key, preventing the attacker from using it on his computer.
Attacker: I will change my malicious code to exfiltrate the private key as well as the authentication cookie, allowing me to completely clone the SSL connection on my machine, and still use the cookie.
Defender: I will hope that the user’s browser signs its HTTPS connections with a hardware-based private key (hardware-backed token binding), preventing the attacker from cloning the SSL session without access to that private key (which never leaves the hardware device).
Attacker: I will change my malicious code to run a reverse proxy through the user’s browser, sending my arbitrary requests through the same token-bound SSL session as the user’s actual requests.
Defender: I will encourage users to use a platform & browser that does not allow processes or extensions to interact with security contexts for other origins. This way, the attacker’s malicious code will not be able to read my cookies or send requests to my site.

Assuming no application-level vulnerabilities (such as XSS or CSRF), and no vulnerabilities in the platform itself, such a platform would be completely secure against any kind of attack. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any such platform that also supports unphishable credentials. Chrome OS supports unphishable credentials, but offers no way to prevent extensions from sending HTTP requests to your origin. Most mobile browsers (on non-rooted devices) do not support extensions at all, but do not currently support unphishable credentials.
— Laks