In the continuing war against bad USB Type-C cables, the USB Implementers Forum, USB-IF for short - no, there's not a USB-ELSE - has announced USB PD 3.0, which includes a new Authentication program, meaning there is even less chance a bad cable will damage your devices.

Type-C Authentication means that any cable that is plugged in automatically authenticates itself with the other device (such as a phone, tablet, or laptop), before any data or power is transferred between the two, causing the host device to verify the cable has been fully verified by the USB-IF and is safe to use. The information will use 128-bit encrypted communication between the cable and the device, and the specification is designed to work even if only power is being drawn from the cable, and not data.

Screen-Shot-2016-04-12-at-1.05.25-PM-640x479

This should defend vulnerable USB-C-enabled devices from cables that do not have the correct resistor, which causes devices to be literally fried. Benson Leung, the Google employee testing USB-C cables and reviewing them on Amazon, had his personal Chromebook Pixel irreversibly broken after testing a particularly bad Type-C cable.

Ars Technica reports that current USB-C devices, such as the Nexus 6P, 2015 Chromebook Pixel, and the HTC 10, may be able to get software updates to enable the new authentication program, but obviously older USB-C cables cannot be updated, which means those cables and other accessories would need to be replaced.