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C to get security programme

04 January, 2019, 02:48 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • USB Type-C Authentication Programme kicks off

All of this happens right at the moment a connection is made - before inappropriate power or data can be transferred.

The objective of the program is to create a secure handshake between different USB Type-C devices.

Now, the USB Implementers (USB-IF) has launched a new USB Type-C Authentication Program that aims to mitigate this issue, at least to some extent.

The program defines an optimal cryptographic authentication protocol.

The USB-IF is taking applications for participation in the USB Type-C Authentication Programme now, but has not yet indicated when the first compatible devices are likely to appear on the market. It can also recognize certificates and capabilities of the connected device (such as an external hard drive).


As of now, hooking up your device with an unknown USB Type-C charger could be a major potential threat in terms of data security. First, it's possible to damage your devices with faulty cables.

Of course, device manufacturers and operating system developers will need to include support for USB-C Authentication before it offers anything meaningful, and that's also the biggest downside-this is simply a suggestion at the current time, not a requirement. This is something about which early adopters of Type-C had to be cautious. This handshaking, the USB-IF explains, can take place either over the USB data bus or the USB Power Delivery (PD) communication channel. Using the authentication framework, device makers could block uncertified cables under the assumption they may harm your devices. "As the USB Type-C ecosystem continues to grow, companies can further provide the security that consumers have come to expect from certified USB devices".

"USB Type-C Authentication empowers host systems to protect against non-compliant USB chargers and to mitigate risks from malicious firmware/hardware in USB devices attempting to exploit a USB connection".

There are a few companies out there with certifications to make chargers and cables, but the smaller ones won't be able to survive.

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