The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the issue of counterfeit Cisco equipment very seriously, according to a leaked FBI presentation that underscores problems in the Cisco supply chain.
The presentation gives an overview of the FBI Cyber Division’s effort to crack down on counterfeit network hardware, the FBI said Friday in a statement. “It was never intended for broad distribution across the Internet.”
In late February the FBI broke up a counterfeit distribution network, seizing an estimated $3.5 million worth of components manufactured in China. This two-year FBI effort, called Operation Cisco Raider, involved 15 investigations run out of nine FBI field offices.
According to the FBI presentation, the fake Cisco routers, switches, and cards were sold to the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps., the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, and even the FBI itself.
One slide refers to the problem as a “critical infrastructure threat.”
The U.S. Department of Defense is taking the issue seriously. Since 2007, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has funded a program called Trust in IC, which does research in this area.
Last month, researcher Samuel King demonstrated how it was possible to alter a computer chip to give attackers virtually undetectable back-door access to a computer system.
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