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C Adds Authentication Mode To Protect Your Gadgets
04 January 2019, 02:55 | Megan Pierce
USB-C to get security programme
All of this happens right at the moment a connection is made - before inappropriate power or data can be transferred.
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.
The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) is ringing in the New Year with the launch of its USB Type-C Authentication Program, an optional security protocol that could potentially make it less risky to plug in a USB device.
The program defines an optimal cryptographic authentication protocol.
Created to replace both ends of a USB connector, USB Type-C is becoming increasing popular - not least because it can be connected either way up, putting an end to the seemingly-impossible task of plugging in a USB cable the right way up in fewer than three tries.
The USB-IF notes that the security standard will be optional rather than compulsory - at least initially - and any products which use the authentication protocol will retain control over the way the security policies are implemented and enforced. If you have a device that requires such accessories, it could simply refuse to recognize connections from uncertified cables. In practical terms, this means that your phone could limit charging to only authorized chargers. First, it's possible to damage your devices with faulty cables.
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USB-C has been one of the best inventions of recent times.
What is USB Type-C?
The other selling point of USB-C authentication is security. Moreover, such modifications in the cable are hard to notice, which further makes it too easy to exploit USB 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".
With the USB-C Authentication in place, any host machine that receives an input from a USB-C device - say, a charger for example - will be able to accurately determine whether or not that device is authentic and whether it poses a risk to the machine and the contents therein.
This new security feature will allow devices to authenticate USB-C connections for legitimacy, both on charging and data connections.
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