New Plans for USB-C Will Add Authentication System and Be More Secure

New technology often brings growing pains, and that is the case with USB-C. While the new standard allows for standardized connections, faster delivery, and speedy data transmission while blocking unauthorized connections, it’s also been known to damage devices. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has come up with a plan to add an authentication system that it believes will make USB-C connections more secure.

New Plans for USB-C Connections

USB-IF’s new plans for USB-C, include a 128-bit authentication system. This new feature will help certified devices be identified before a full link happens. If the device cannot be authenticated, data access, power transmission, or both can be denied.

Authentication can be run through a computer’s USB data bus or power delivery to prevent unauthorized access. For now, this security will be an addition to the USB-C standard. Any devices using the authentication system will be able to control how use is restricted.

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DigiCert will oversee certification of the security protocol. The President and chief operating officer of the USB-IF says they are “eager to work with DigiCert to manage our certificate authority for USB Type-C authentication, which will further support the USB ecosystem.”

A concern for device manufacturers is the cost of having their devices certified and authenticated for USB-C. It’s also not known how they may be able to abuse this new system by restricting data access or power delivery

From a Consumer Standpoint

There are many ways to look at this from a consumer standpoint. Sure, it will be great to have a standard that restricts unauthorized access and leads to more overall security, but there are definitely some disadvantages to this despite this plan being sought to decrease existing problems.

Chief among those disadvantages is definitely pricing. If a concern of manufacturers is having this plan in place for devices to be certified, you know that they will not be absorbing that cost. They’ll be passing it off to us, the consumers. So this just means our devices just got that much more expensive.

Also, USB-C already meant yet another charger and cord to carry around. Does this make the old. USB-C chargers obsolete? We don’t know. That wasn’t explained.

But maybe this is all just what we should expect at this point. You can’t have an improved technology without it costing you more and giving you more equipment to lug around.

What do you think about this new plan for USB-C? Do you currently have any devices that use USB-C? How will this affect you? Let us know below in the comments what you think of this new authentication system for USB-C.

2 comments

  1. Color me skeptical. As with many other well-intentioned attempts to protect the public from “nogoodniks”, this will more often prevent legitimate users from accessing their devices than hackers from hacking into those devices. Within hours of official release of this feature, there will be hacks available on the ‘Net.

  2. “Sure, it will be great to have a standard that restricts unauthorized access and leads to more overall security”

    That’s not going to happen. To consumers, “restricts unauthorized access” and “leads to more overall security” means “keep the bad guys out of my computer and away from my data”. That’s not what this will do. In fact, this is no less than a cash-grab for device manufacturers…because, once implemented, no currently-existing device will work and people will be forced to buy all new devices. And once they’ve done that, things will be…exactly the same as they are now, just with brand new devices and poorer consumers.

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