The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), which certifies cables as safe, has announced a new way to protect devices from faulty USB Type-C cables that may damage the device. This protection comes in the form of the ‘USB Type-C Authentication Specification’, which are a set of software rules. When a device is connected via a USB Type-C port, the host device will be able to determine if the connected accessory is compatible or not, or if it has been certified by the USB-IF. This information is transmitted to the host device via a 128-bit encryption before any actual data or power connection is established. This will also work if the charger and cable are only powering the device and not exchanging data.
The USB Type-C Authentication Specification will also help protect devices against malware. USB-IF says that this can be used by companies to set a policy in its PCs that will grant access only to verified USB devices. USB-IF also noted that the support for these specifications on existing devices could be implemented via an update.