27 Apr '17, 6pm

Fake & cloned hardware polluting the market

In system-level cloning, such as that needed to reproduce routers and other network hardware, cloners may use some form of reverse engineering, or they may buy the design details from a friendly source at the manufacturer, along with stray parts or products that failed testing. But to complete the clone design, they also need to install firmware—the basic programs used to tell the system how to operate. Firmware for a router might include information such as what frequency the router communicates over or what type of security protocols it uses. On most PCBs, the system firmware is stored in nonvolatile memory—ROM, EEPROM, or flash. A cloner can copy it during the power-up cycle, by tapping a data bus when the processing unit loads system instructions from nonvolatile storage into active memory. Alternatively, the cloner can look directly at the memory itself, using a scann...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/hardware/invasion-of-t...

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