C Cables Could Get Built-In Security

New USB-C protocol paves way for more secure connections with

USB-C to get security programme

The USB-C standard has advantages over the normal USB connections that you find, such as higher data transfer speeds, faster charging and the ability to display video (in the case of Thunderbolt 3).

The USB Implementers Forum has today announced its USB Type-C Authentication Program, the specification for which attempts to define a cryptographic-based authentication protocol for chargers and other devices which adopt the USB-C standard.

It is optional for OEMs to participate in the Authentication program as of now. If the connection protocol does, in fact, become the "one cable to rule them all", we're going to need as many security systems as possible to prevent nefarious persons from abusing the ubiquity of cables and ports.

"USB-IF is excited to launch the USB Type-C Authentication Program, providing OEMs with the flexibility to implement a security framework that best fits their specific product requirements", said USB-IF President and COO Jeff Ravencraft. If you have a device that requires such accessories, it could simply refuse to recognize connections from uncertified cables. One is avoiding wonky USB Type-C chargers, which is a well-documented and immensely frustrating hazard of owning a USB Type-C device.

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This means that users can charge a device at a terminal, knowing that it is a certified charger.

According to a new report from Engadget, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), an organization dedicated to advancing USB technology, has laid out plans for a cryptographic-based 128-bit authentication system to help defend against non-compliant USB chargers, USB sticks laden with malware, and other similar dangers.

What is USB Type-C?

Authentication can occur over either the USB data bus or USB power delivery channels. The authentication keys would prove a USB-C device is safe, allowing your computer or phone to connect.

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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