Back in 2016, with the rising of adoption of USB Type-C connectors in higher-end smartphones, the USB Implementers Forum said it would create a standard to help prevent damage from malicious or otherwise dangerous cables which might damage your device. Almost three years later, the USB-IF is now launching an authentication program for USB Type-C cables.
The organization published an announcement on its website, though the page seems to be blank as of the time of writing. As reported by New Atlas, the authentication of USB Type-C devices is done through a partnership with DigiCert, who announced back in November that it had been chosen to manage the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for USB Type-C. DigiCert uses 128-bit cryptographic-based authentication to ensure that connected devices are trustworthy and won't cause damage.
USB Type-C has only grown in popularity since 2016, and it's likely to be the most widely adopted USB connector since its inception. Smartphones, computers, and peripherals are all shifting to the new standard, so it becomes increasingly important to ensure that it's safe to connect your devices using it.
The big drawback in regards to this is that existing cables are likely to be unable to be certified at this point, since they were made available before the authentication program existed. That may limit the functionality of those cables going forward, but it may be better in the end, since it will at least keep your devices safe.