Logistics: Counterfeit Components Compromise Capabilities


July 17, 2006: Counterfeit Technology is becoming a serious military matter. Counterfeiting of luxury goods�"perfume, women's accessories, music CDs, etc.�"is pretty common. While this poses a threat to the profits of some high-end businesses, it generally doesn't rise to the level of a national security issue. But that may be starting to change. Apparently some technogeeks in the United States Department of Defense have discovered that recent military purchases of replacement parts and even whole new computer equipment (CPUs, routers, etc.) have often included counterfeit components. That is, items produced by an unlicensed manufacturer, usually in Asia, that are labeled and marketed as the real thing. Generally counterfeits are superficially indistinguishable from the real thing, but tend to be of lower quality. In short, counterfeit components in critical systems could behave in ways not anticipated, or create dangerous situations by failing in unanticipated ways.
Counterfeit parts have already been involved in causing accidents in civilian aviation, and failures in other sectors as well. But there's more. Counterfeit electronic parts can have components added that make it easier for someone to take control of a network the component is part of. This is the sort of thing people at the CIA have long contemplated, but with all the counterfeit electronic components, particularly networking items like routers, coming out of China, the risk of installing "infected" components is now less theoretical.


Article Archive

Logistics: Current 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close