Your Next Laptop May Reject Bad USB Type-C Chargers

The USB Implementers Forum has fired the latest salvo in the war against bad USB Type-C cables and adapters. The group announced the USB Type-C Authentication specification at the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzen, China to ensure that devices can recognize and reject accessories that are not supported.

The new standard will allow computers and smartphones to recognize whether or not a cable, charger or peripheral has been certified by the USB-IF. 

The authentication system is designed to prevent malware, viruses and exploits from infecting systems with 128-bit security and cryptographic methods. A host could use these measures to specify whether or not any given cable could be used with its laptops (we've already seen HP do this in the past to protect its products).

Your existing smartphone or laptop can't do this immediately. The USB-IF hasn't specified if these changes need to be made at the firmware or hardware level, and if existing devices can be updated to support it. In the meantime, you can check out our guide to buying safe USB Type-C cables until this new standard spreads far and wide.