The new protocol from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) can be used to validate the authenticity of a cable, charger or hardware at the moment of connection, and stop attacks in their tracks.
The USB-IF has chosen DigiCert to operate registrations and certificate authority services for the new specification, which makes use of 128-bit cryptographic-based authentication for certificate format, digital signing, hash and random number generation.
"USB Type-C Authentication gives OEMs the opportunity to use certificates that enable host systems to confirm the authenticity of a USB device or USB charger, including such product aspects as the descriptors, capabilities and certification status," said DigiCert in a press release. "This protects against potential damage from non-compliant USB chargers and the risks from maliciously embedded hardware or software in devices attempting to exploit a USB connection."
At launch, the programme is optional but with more and more manufacturers including USB-C connectivity on their devices, it's a welcome addition to the security toolkit.