Apple unveiled its most daring MacBook yet last week, a 12-inch Retina device that’s slimmer and lighter than any other model, and which only ships with a single multi-purpose port that’s supposed to handle all your needs. The USB Type-C port, believed to be mostly Apple’s invention, recharges batteries and offers fast data speeds at the same time, though you’ll have to shell out additional cash for special adapters.
Having to pay up an extra $79 for ccessories shouldn’t really be a reason to hate Apple’s USB-C port, but there is one valid cause of concern.
Because the MacBook only has one single port, The Verge notes the device might become an easier target for attackers who use USB-based malware. The USB-C port is a standard, which means it can be used in a similar manner to older USB standards to deliver malicious code.
Hackers could exploit USB technology to deliver viruses to a computer using peripherals that have USB ports every time they’re used on a machine. One such concern is BadUSB, a malicious program that’s included in the firmware of a USB device and infects computers in the early stages of the connection, without users realizing what’s going on.
With computers that have multiple ports, not sharing untrusted USB devices might be a way of keeping your computer secure. But since the MacBook uses a single port for data transfer and charging purposes, some future MacBook owners might be exposed to BadUSB or similar attacks when looking for an USB-C-compatible cable to recharge the depleted battery of their 12-inch laptop.