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New USB Type-C Helps Protect Your Devices

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New USB Type-C Helps Protect Your Devices
You've probably accumulated a box full of USB drives, cables, and chargers over the years. Although they certainly began to charge your devices better and transfer files faster, in reality they did not become more secure. That will change soon.



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USB-IF, the industry group responsible for developing and promoting USB standards, has announced the USB Type-C authentication program. Authentication, according to a USB-IF press release, "allows host systems to protect against incompatible USB chargers and reduce the risks of malware or hardware on USB devices."

In case you did not know, the USB ports on your devices pose a very real security risk. Hackers can crack publicly charged chargers and use them to infect phones and tablets with malware. USB sticks may come with malware that was quietly pre-loaded during production. This happens more often than you think. IBM distributed the infected disks to its customers twice.

USB-C authentication will make it very difficult for an attacker to use these techniques to successfully attack your devices.

For example, your phone may search for a specific unmodified signature before establishing a connection with a charger. If everything looks good, the connection will be established and current may begin to flow. If something looks blurry, your phone will refuse to connect.

Authentication can protect your laptop or desktop PC from malicious USB drives in the same way. If the USB-C signature on the drive was tampered with or not recognized, the computer will not allow the connection.

A security update is certainly welcome, but there may be one rather annoying catch. Theoretically, manufacturers can bind their devices to their own cables and chargers. It all comes down to the fact that individual companies intend to introduce USB Type-C identification ..

Ultimately, this may be a small price for additional protection. Since USB-IF positions Type-C as the “single connector that controls them all,” it’s very important to implement powerful security features that can limit the use of criminal hackers.


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