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

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 13 2016 @ 13:22 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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.

    About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

    Loading Comments