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Earlier today some owners of Apple devices with the two-step authentication process enabled started noticing that the service had been extended to their iCloud.com accounts, thus requiring them to enter a verification code before their they could access them. By the middle of this afternoon, the service had been pulled from many of the accounts that first noticed it.
Users who have the two-step verification system active need to enter a code they receive either through SMS or via another iOS Device before they can use certain services. With today's temporary extension of the service to iCloud.com, that means they also had to enter it for the online versions of Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Find My iPhone wasn't affected.
At 3:30 PM, MacRumors reported that the service was no longer working for some of the users who had seen it earlier in the day, suggesting that Apple was either testing the service or that someone in Cupertino had flipped the switch a bit sooner than intended. Thankfully, it appears that users won't have to enter the codes every time they use the services, and there's reportedly a "Remember This Browser" option available.
Apple originally implemented the two-step verification process in March of last year in order to add an extra layer of protection for users who want it.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.