USB-IF Launches USB Type-C Authentication Program To Protect Against Malware

USB Type-C Authentication Program
USB Type-C Authentication Program

USB Type-C Authentication program to protect your devices from malicious activity.

USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the support organization for the advancement and adoption of USB technology, announced the launch of its USB Type-C Authentication Program, marking an important milestone for the optional USB security protocol.

The USB Type-C Authentication specification defines cryptographic-based authentication for USB Type-C chargers and devices. It is a 24-pin USB connector system. Which is distinguished by its two-fold rotationally-symmetrical connector.

USB Type-C Authentication empowers host systems to protect against non-compliant USB chargers and to mitigate risks from malicious firmware/hardware in USB devices attempting to exploit a USB connection. Using this protocol, host systems can confirm the authenticity of a USB device, USB cable or USB charger, including such product aspects as the capabilities and certification status. All of this happens right at the moment a connection is made – before inappropriate power or data can be transferred.

“USB-IF is excited to launch the USB Type-C Authentication Program, providing OEMs with the flexibility to implement a security framework that best fits their specific product requirements,” said USB-IF President and COO Jeff Ravencraft. “As the USB Type-C ecosystem continues to grow, companies can further provide the security that consumers have come to expect from certified USB devices.”

Key characteristics of the USB Type-C Authentication solution include:

• A standard protocol for authenticating certified USB Type-C chargers, devices, cables and power sources
• Support for authenticating over either USB data bus or USB Power Delivery communications channels
• Products that use the authentication protocol retain control over the security policies to be implemented and enforced
• Relies on 128-bit security for all cryptographic methods
• Specification references existing internationally-accepted cryptographic methods for certificate format, digital signing, hash and random number generation.

USB-IF selected DigiCert to manage the PKI and certificate authority services for the USB Type-C Authentication Program. For further details, read the DigiCert announcement.

“DigiCert is excited to work with USB-IF and its CA Program Participants from the industry at large to provide the technical expertise and scale needed for the USB Type-C Authentication Program, and we look forward to implementation,” said Geoffrey Noakes, Vice President, IoT Business Development at DigiCert.

About USB-IF

The non-profit USB Implementers Forum, Inc. was formed to provide a support organization and forum for the advancement and adoption of USB technology as defined in the USB specifications. USB-IF facilitates the development of high-quality compatible USB devices through its logo and compliance program, and promotes the benefits of USB and the quality of products that have passed compliance testing.

Google also added the new security feature USBGuard on its Chrome OS devices in December 2018. To protect its Chromebook for malicious activity from USB devices. It will block access to USB port while the device screen is locked.

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