No thanks to Apple killing all the legacy ports in its MacBook lineup, users have since had to resort to dongles, adapters, and USB hubs to get some functionality back. Unfortunately, some third-party USB hubs have been found to be causing issues with MacBooks to the point where some users have actually ended up with bricked laptops.
It seems that this has become a big enough problem where Apple has issued a surprise update that bumps macOS Big Sur up to version 11.2.2 without seeding it as a beta first. According to Apple, “macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 prevents MacBook Pro (2019 or later) and MacBook Air (2020 or later) models from incurring damage when they are connected to certain third-party, non-compliant powered USB-C hubs and docks.”
It is unclear which USB hubs could be causing the issue, but if you do need a hub or a dock for your Mac computer, you’ll need to find one that’s been certified by Apple or buy one that’s listed in the Apple Store, where presumably they have been vetted by Apple and should not give you any issues.
In the meantime, if you do have a hub or dock that you’re currently using, then you’ll probably want to update your macOS ASAP to help curb this potential issue.