Warning: cheap USB-C cables can kill your PC

A Google engineer has made it his mission to warn the world about the dangers of cheap, improperly-certified USB-C cables.

By - February 8, 2016 Share on LinkedIn
USB Type-C

Some cheap USB Type-C cables sold on Amazon can cause too much current to be delivered over your PC’s USB ports and will fry your machine, The Verge reported.

USB Type-C is the latest USB standard, which features a small profile and reversible plug.

The issue stems from the backwards compatibility built into the standard which lets new devices with USB-C ports connect and charge via older ports on existing PCs.

Google engineer Benson Leung, in the course of testing various Type-C cables, plugged one into his Chromebook Pixel.

“I directly analysed the Surjtech cable using a Type-C breakout board and a multimeter, and it appears that they completely mis-wired the cable,” said Leung.

This resulted in his laptop being destroyed.

The USB-IF said it has checked 61 cables and advised buyers to look out for its logos:

USB-IF compliance logos

A group of redditors also maintain a spreadsheet with details on all the cables that have been tested.

A website listing various USB-compliant gear is also available through Reddit.

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