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The one real reason to hate the Retina MacBook’s USB Type-C port right now

Published Mar 17th, 2015 9:30PM EDT
Retina MacBook USB-C Port
Image: Apple Inc.

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.

FROM EARLIER: One reason even hardcore Android fans might have to praise Apple

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.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.