Computer Systems Across Industries at Risk from Counterfeit Electronic Components

In a recent survey of companies across 20 different industries, 90 percent of respondents purchased counterfeit electrical components during the past six months, and nearly half—45 percent—of those purchases were made in support of computer operations, reports TodayComponents.com, a leading wholesaler of electronics and electrical components.

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Our survey results show that 40 percent of the respondents were very concerned with the prospect of purchasing counterfeit electronic components in the future

HOUSTON, Texas (PRWEB) March 27, 2013

In a recent survey of 637 companies (conducted from 20th to 27th of February 2013) across 20 different industries, 90 percent of respondents purchased counterfeit electrical components during the past six months, and nearly half—45 percent—of those purchases were made in support of computer operations, reports TodayComponents.com, a leading wholesaler of electronics and electrical components.

Worldwide, many companies are increasingly concerned about the prevalence of counterfeit electronic components in the supply chain, and the concern is legitimate—particularly as it relates to computer systems.

(Report by Robert K. Lowry, Technical Affiliate, Oneida Research Services, Inc., “Counterfeit Electronic Components- An Overview”) According to a report released by Oneida Research Services, police in Guangdong province, China, found $1.2 million in fake computer parts and documents—enough to produce complete servers, personal computers, and the labels, warranty cards, and packaging for them; all the parts were labeled with the Compaq logo.

In another instance, Oneida Research Services reported, electrolyte made from a stolen, defective formula found its way into thousands of capacitors used on PC motherboards, causing the components to burst and leak and the computers to fail, ultimately costing more than $100 million to rectify.

In late January some of the country’s top experts in computer hardware security gathered at the Conference on Counterfeit Electronics in Storrs, Connecticut, to discuss ways to address the growing international counterfeit electronics industry.

(Article by Colin Poitras, “Conference on Counterfeit Electronics Addresses Growing National Concern,” UConn Today, February 1, 2013) “This is a very challenging problem that requires a suite of solutions, as well as a strong collaboration between academia, industry, and government to tackle it,” says Mohammad Tehranipoor, a professor in engineering innovation at the University of Connecticut and one of the event’s coordinators.

Most counterfeit components are packaged as new, but may be damaged or used. Tampered chips, for example, may be pulled from scrap circuit boards and altered to look like factory-generated parts. Tehranipoor says that the problem with counterfeit chips is that they are unreliable and can wear out prematurely. Further, the chips could contain malicious Trojans, which may disable or hinder a system, or even allow third-party access to sensitive information.

The federal government is addressing the problem, in part, with section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which requires the Secretary of State to “implement a program to enhance contractor detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts.”

Jonathan Cheng, spokesperson for TodayComponents.com, says that the new Act will help with Department of Defense purchases, but civilian organizations need to come up with ways to address the problem, as well.

“Our survey results show that 40 percent of the respondents were very concerned with the prospect of purchasing counterfeit electronic components in the future,” says Cheng, “but, surprisingly, 38 percent were not at all concerned.”

Cheng notes, “Counterfeit electronic components is a real concern, and companies that acknowledge the new reality are in a much better position to detect and avoid fake parts that may lead to down systems, reduced customer satisfaction, and substantial costs.”    

About TodayComponents.com

TodayComponents.com is a leading provider of electronics and electrical components, offering low-cost commodity items, along with high-end technologies. Based in Houston, Texas, the company is recognized globally for its fast, easy ordering process, short delivery times, and free technical support. To find out more, please visit http://www.todaycomponents.com.


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