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USB Type-C to get protections against dangerous cables and malware

Posted on Wednesday, April 13 2016 @ 13:22:25 CEST by

Lately there's been a lot of concern about badly designed USB Type-C cables, which can cause significant issues including physically damaging your device due to faulty power delivery. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has taken notes and announced the USB Type-C Authentication solution.

This new specification will enable host systems to protect against non-compliant USB cables as well as mitigate risks from maliciously embedded hardware or software in USB devices. It also delivers enhanced security protocols.
Key characteristics of the USB Type-C™ Authentication solution include:

  • A standard protocol for authenticating certified USB Type-C™ Chargers, devices, cables and power sources
  • Support for authenticating over either USB data bus or USB Power Delivery communications channels
  • Products that use the authentication protocol retain control over the security policies to be implemented and enforced
  • Relies on 128-bit security for all cryptographic methods
  • Specification references existing internationally-accepted cryptographic methods for certificate format, digital signing, hash and random number generation
  • USB-IF claims support for these new features can be implemented via software and/or firmware updates. Some devices and cables may need to be replaced though.



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