The USB type-C is the latest standard (USB 3.0) which is recently implemented in Apple’s latest MacBook and the Chromebook Pixel 2, though the Type-C seems to have almost no drawbacks, it also carries a huge risk with it – called BadUSB.
The BadUSB is essentially an attack to the computer caused by a USB’s modified and faulty firmware. So basically there’s nothing much that can be done as the problem is at the hardware level. This BadUSB comes pre-programmed in your USB’s firmware at the time of its manufacture or manipulation (Not all USB’s). So identifying whether a USB is infected with BadUSB is almost impossible. When such an USB is connected to the computer, the BadUSB is capable to load other malware into the system and do many other undesirable things, just like any other virus.
Also Read: What’s the fuss about the new USB Type-C?
But what is the problem with the USB Type-C?
Well there’s nothing wrong about the new Type-C. BadUSB was a potent security risk which was there already with the USB. As the USB is an Open-standard, people get full access and can easily mess with its firmware. The only problem which arises with the USB type-C is that the chance of BadUSB attacks can exponentially increase, because Type-C is not only your USB but also your charging port and media-streaming port. Why would you take pain to go get an adapter or any other media-streaming port like the HDMI cable when you have a single Type-C USB which can do the work of all? It is so versatile that it tempts more BadUSB-programmers and therefore, it gives more surface for the BadUSB attacks.
How do you avoid it?
As it’s a hardware-level problem, there’s nothing much than an end-user can do. So the best way to avoid such an attack and put your beloved device at risk is to get yourself your own Type-C charger cords and cables. Borrowing someone else’s will potentially put you at risk. Moreover, having a security prompt in your device which can only allow USB access under the user’s consent may help to a certain extent but we strongly advice you get your own stuff.