Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Technology | By Lionel Gonzales

USB Type-C Authentication Program Launched To Protect Devices Against Hardware Attacks

USB Type-C Authentication Program Launched To Protect Devices Against Hardware Attacks

This may not be the harm in the form of malicious intent but down to the fact that the charger or other device is manufactured poorly and does not comply with expected USB-C standards. That's why the USB-IF, a trade group that promotes and oversees the USB standard, has launched a USB-C authentication program. If you buy with a computer or phone that uses the USB Type-C authentication scheme, you could end up returning a lot of uncertified Type-C accessories and cables because they won't work with your hardware.

While having one cable for everything is incredibly convenient, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) - the big kahuna of USB technology - is anxious about the future security of USB Type-C.

128-bit encryption will be deployed in the certified devices to ensure that no modifications have been made in the cable.

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The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has created a protocol that can be used to validate the authenticity of a USB-C cable, charger or hardware at the moment of connection. The handsome part of the scenario is that the authentication happens immediately, allowing the machine to determine the authenticity of the device before any data or power is transferred between the connection. DigiCert, a US-based company that issues SSL certificates to websites, will provide public key infrastructure and will also manage CA program participants. In practical terms, this means that your phone could limit charging to only authorized chargers.

It is optional for OEMs to participate in the Authentication program as of now.

There doesn't seem to be a timetable attached to this new type of authentication, and it remains to be seen how the rest of the companies that are not part of USB-IF will receive the news. USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the support organization for the advancement and adoption of USB technology, today announced the launch of its USB Type-C™ Authentication Program, marking an important milestone for the optional USB security protocol. To be certified, cables and chargers would need to properly implement the USB Power Delivery spec. Does it have USB 3.1 Gen 2?

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