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Is there a piece of cheap validation hardware where you can plug in both ends of your cable and a little display will tell you what kind of cable it is and if it is legitimate?

Maybe just have something like the USB killer [1] to "sterilize" cables. Zap the cable with a high voltage/high energy pulse, beyond what normal on-die ESD protection could handle. A bunch of copper and plastic won't get damaged (unless you really get crazy and it arcs over and carbonizes or something), but it will probably burn out any covert semiconductors in the cable. It's hard to absorb high energy pulses in small packages.

[1] https://usbkill.com/

Type-C cables have an E-Marker IC inside them by design, so this would probably render the cable non-functional or worse-functional unfortunately.

Lightning cables have a computer inside them, that would destroy the cable.

Proving a negative is hard.

Though checking to see what USB / PCI devices are advertised could be useful.

Device / USB whitelisting looks like it will need to be a default thing Real Soon Now.

Even just a device with a USB port that reports No Device / Hub / Keyboard / Storage / Other through a set of LEDs would be reasonably useful.

That's an interesting idea. Multiple LEDs, colour-coded, or ...?

I was thinking multiple indicator LEDs, so for example the lightning cable in the original article would light up the 'Hub' and 'Keyboard' lights.

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