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USB Type-C, 'the single cable of the future,' will be more secure soon

A new security protocol for USB Type-C connections will make your electronic life safer. However, the protocol is optional for now.

Published onJanuary 2, 2019

With the vast majority of new Android devices supporting USB Type-C technology and USB Type-C ports showing up on lots of other new devices, there’s a good chance you already have more than a few pieces of tech with Type-C ports.

While having one cable for everything is incredibly convenient, the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) — the big kahuna of USB technology — is worried about the future security of USB Type-C. That’s why the organization is rolling out its USB Type-C Authentication Program which it hopes will help make Type-C systems more secure.

The purpose of the program is to create a secure handshake between different USB Type-C devices. Let’s say, for example, you’re at the airport and want to charge your phone at one of those charging kiosks. However, you’re worried about the security of that charging terminal — is it compromised? With the authentication program in place, you won’t have to worry, as your phone will instantly approve (or deny) any connection using a database of certified equipment.

What is USB Type-C? Or is it USB C?
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra USB C port and headphone jack

However, for now, the authentication program is going to be optional, which obviously will prevent it from having much effect. In the future, though, the program could become mandatory which will help all USB Type-C equipment stay safe.

USB-IF president Jeff Ravencraft believes USB Type-C is “the single cable of the future.” 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.

This year, the latest iPads even include USB Type-C ports, the first Apple mobile product not to use one of the company’s proprietary ports. If even Apple is on board, USB Type-C could really be the cable of the future.

NEXT: It’s 2018 and USB Type-C is still a mess

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