USB Type-C Protocol Similar To MFI Could Prevent The Use Of Inferior Chargers

Future USB-C devices will verify the authenticity of connected peripherals, which may result in future iPhones, iPads, and Macs only accepting compliant chargers and rejecting potentially hazardous devices.

The introduction of the authentication protocol offers a variety of protections to both device manufacturers and consumers, ensuring the security of devices that adhere to the specification. The system, which has been in development for several years, will be able to determine whether the other connected hardware and even the cable itself support the same standards and are safe to use.

The USB Type-C authentication can prevent maliciously embedded hardware or software from attempting to exploit a USB connection by being installed on USB devices. This could prevent hardware similar to the GrayKey forensics tool from extracting data from a locked iPhone if the tool is not authenticated, or from a maliciously configured publicly accessible USB charging point.

This could restrict the types of devices that can connect to others within a facility, providing enhanced security for sensitive data on the enterprise network. The system’s policy could also prevent consumers from using cheap third-party chargers with their iPhones, or restrict uncertified chargers to slower charging while allowing certified versions to perform fast charging, thereby reducing the risk of accessory-caused fires or overheating.

In addition to being able to be governed by predefined security policies, the system also employs 128-bit cryptography for added security. As the authentication is performed upon connection before major power or data transfers, the system can prevent any inappropriate activity with uncertified hardware before anything else occurs between the two devices.

Apple is a member of the USB Implementers Forum, so, likely, future iPhones, iPads, and other devices that use USB Type-C now or in the future will support the standard.

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