The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has announced the new specification of authentication for USB Type-C  that allows devices to confirm the authenticity of a cable. This update includes a description of hardware and certifications to protect devices that will not meet the specifications, as OEM cables are not only able to cause electrical damage to the equipment, but also the transmission of data in an unauthorized manner.

USB Type-C specification is updated to enhance security 

USB-Type-C

This new software protection could also defend against malware hidden in a USB interface, so that an additional layer of security is added to the USB Type C.

The host systems can confirm the authenticity of a USB device or a USB charger, including aspects such as the state of descriptors / product capabilities and certification. All this happens just at the time when a cable connection, before powering inappropriately or data transfer “is performed.

Undoubtedly a more than necessary upgrade because the market is riddled with USB Type-C cables that doesn’t meet specifications, but are capable of jeopardizing our equipment. Even manufacturers like Apple or OnePlus had withdraw their own cables in the past for not complying with the appropriate standards. A cable that meets the specification never jeopardize our equipment / device.

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