The U.S. Military has spent millions of dollars on counterfeit computer components over the years, according to an FBI report. This not only screws over businesses, but it also makes it easier for cyber-terrorists to hack into our systems by putting trojans and viruses in fake circuitry. An anti-counterfeit initiative by the FBI, led to 15 criminal cases and over US$3.5 million worth of seized products.
The FBI op, named Cisco Raider, was a two-year-old operation that targeted illegal distributors of fake network hardware, mostly manufactured in China. With the help of their Chinese counterparts and Cisco Systems, the FBI has so far executed 39 search warrants and confiscated roughly 3,500 network components.
The FBI is still not sure whether the counterfeit goods were distributed for profit or for reasons more insidious. Though Cisco says none of the counterfeited goods contained spyware, the threat of hackers infiltrating our systems is very real.
Modern circuits have billions of parts, so it's incredibly hard to detect the tweaked bits that could help nefarious foes take over our military infrastructure. And once the cyber-terrorists take over, who're we going to call? John McClane? [New York Times]