Skip to comments.Fake Chinese Parts 'Found In US Planes'
Posted on 05/22/2012 8:42:58 AM PDT by the scotsman
'More than a million fake electronic parts from China have been found in US military aircraft, posing a risk to national security, an investigation has revealed.
A report by the US Senate uncovered 1,800 cases of bogus parts - including some in special operations helicopters and the US Air Force's largest cargo plane. The total number of individual components involved in these cases exceeded one million, the Committee on Armed Services publication said.
"This flood of counterfeit parts, overwhelmingly from China, threatens national security, the safety of our troops and American jobs," committee chairman Senator Carl Levin said. "It underscores China's failure to police the blatant market in counterfeit parts - a failure China should rectify," he added.
As part of a year-long investigation, the US Government Accountability Office created a fictitious company and purchased electronic parts on the internet. Of the 16 items bought, all were counterfeit and some had bogus identification numbers. The components came from suppliers based in China - which Senator Levin described as the "epicentre of electronic part counterfeiting".
The report accused Beijing of openly allowing counterfeiting operations, and said attempts by officials to get visas to travel to China as part of the probe had failed. US authorities and contract companies contributed to the problem by not detecting the fakes and routinely failing to report them, the report said.
The Defense Department was also criticised for lacking "knowledge of the scope and impact of counterfeit parts on critical defence systems".
Committee member Senator John McCain said the prevalence of bogus parts made the country vulnerable and posed a risk to "our security and the lives of the men and women who protect it".'
(Excerpt) Read more at uk.news.yahoo.com ...
Well this is an issue, China making the parts key to the operation of our military defenses.
What if we ended up in a war with China?
At the unclassified level, the risk is real and ongoing. Some of the classified stuff would curl your hair.
Maybe outsourcing a large portion of the defense industry to our most likely enemy wasn’t such a good idea after all.
Who in hell is watching out for our side anymore?
If you have traveled to China with any electronic device/gadget/phone some companies will never permit you to connect them to their network(s) - ever. Might as well trash the items.
The same folks who are watching the national debt and southern border.
The quality of our elected officials and the typical government bureaucrat has never been very good, but today's equivalents are criminally abysmal.
What does this say about the typical US voter?
They only do that because the know that their citizens are covertly doing to our networks here.
Nothing new, this has been happening, FOR YEARS...
The Chinese fake the part, then sell it to someone in Malaysia or Mexico, that really doesn’t give a damn where it came from.
Someone fakes a chain-of-custody, and puts it on a US plane while it’s in Mexico or South America and breaks, or there for heavy maintenance, and charges the customer the Boeing/Airbus/Embraer list price for it.
BIG MONEY in that difference in cost. No US company is going to purposely use Chinese parts. The penalties and liability potential is too great.
Company I used to work for would find these from time to time
The presence of John McCain and his comments thereof, make me immediately wonder how any solution to this might be useful to Globalists to assert further control, and to destroy American freedoms and sovereignity.
McCain is deeply evil, so anything he does must be looked at closely. Any position he takes must be examined for the trojan horse.
Consider the B-52. This aircraft will be 90+ yrs old when it’s finally retired. How many companies that were around when this aircraft was made, are still around? Of those companies, how many of them still make the components they made back then?
Hint: Not many.
Technology moves forward - but our military is stuck in the past. Consider our F-15 and F-16’s, they were made in the 1970’s. What was “state of the art” back then, is now 40 years obsolete.
The military does not have the budget to stockpile 50 years worth of spare parts for every aircraft, defensive/offenisve, weapons system, weather, satellite, radio, radar and alarm clock ever made. These parts must be “found” by companies who had the foresight to buy an obsolete item for pennies on the dollar, put in storage - and then sell back to the Gov’t for thousands of dollars each. And, yes it’s cheaper to do that than to scrap the entire system, or even re-write the technical manuals on how to use, maintain and repair these items.
Counterfeiters are looking to make money, whether it’s a fake purse, perfurme, wrist watch or chips. This is simply one market they have chosen to pursue - and one critical to our national defense.
Many weapons systems around today may have been designed in the 1980’s or even the 1970’s.
Do you think that an oddball memory chip or any other electronic component made 25 years ago will still be manufactured, stocked or supported by a US manufacturer today?
So buyers must go to the secondary market, where China is a big player in the scrap and refurbishment market. A lot of electronics dis-assembly and scrap collection is done in China (although it is moving to even cheaper places now).
Of course, China is also the king of fakes and counterfeits too.
So put that all together and YES - there probably are a lot of counterfeit or remanufactured parts in US weapons systems.
I don’t doubt the Chinese government is directly involved in this counterfeiting. Anything that is light and cheaply mailed like electronics is easy cash for them. Ebay is now full of direct from China shippers.
Who in hell is watching out for our side anymore?
I think they all must think themselves immune to the disaster they are inviting.
And how about U.S. civilian aircraft? Gosh, I feel so safe and secure.
“Who in hell is watching out for our side anymore?”
The fake President?
Actually, there’s a fix for that problem, and has been for years. One company makes programmable emulator chips that can be burnt-in, and now they’re functional dupes of old, out-of-production chips. And, of course, they keep a library of old chip designs, to produce on the fly.
They’ve been doing that since the early 90s, and it’s apparently a nicely profitable sideline. . .
Could this issue, and the F-22 killer pilot oxygen system problem be related?
Inquiring minds want to know.
They act like there's some remote control backdoor in passive components that are as simple as a resistor, as dumb as Jeff Goldblum uploading a virus into the alien computers from his Macbook.
1. US companies and German companies and Japanese companies bin parts all the time and sell remarked parts all the time. These are parts which are end runs or extended wafer runs, or overproduction that are relabeled. To the extent that the chinese are selling scrapped parts and thus stealing money from legitimate silicon companies, that's a major problem for the companies...not for the equipment/military.
2. The parts in question are not little trojan horses any more than any other legitimate devices are. To the extent the systems using them passed qualification/functional/thermal/electrical tests, it doesn't matter where they came from or what is stamped on them. There are legitimate substandard parts that may fail, and there are illegitimate functionally acceptable parts which may pass just fine. If the system testing cannot determine this at the black-box level, then it doesn't matter what the components were presented as or how they were marked.
In other words, yes the chicoms are capitalists selling parts to systems where the testing doesn't care. So what?
That is an economic pirating issue, not a functional security issue. If it is a functional issue, then that's a testing problem on the system acceptance side.
Score another “own goal” for the “free trade movement” in the US.
Right up there with the goal scored on Wall Street, where the PRC can now cut out the primary dealers when buying US Treasury debt.
All the “free trade” idiots are going to have to answer for rather a lot when this finishes blowing up in our faces.
No one cared. We are screwed.
LOL. I guess all those pallets of equipment that I scanned were figments of my imagination, then. Stuff went straight from PRC to the sandbox with a short stopover at our site to be inprocessed. We never even opened the boxes.
More likely a software bug. Who wrote the code? Computers change mask O2 concentrations with altitude and it doesn't sound as if that is happening as it should. Regardless, it's amazing what I find on eBay when looking for vintage electronics. The stuff just isn't stored in attics anymore. You have to get it from the Ukraine, Russia, or China.
You both right, and very, very wrong.
You are correct in that there are no trojans, or secret backdoors. These are things like PROMS, transistors, capacitors, resistors and even obsolete 8 bit processors and assorted gates.
However, often these designs are very crude and poorly made copies, that can pass very basic functionality tests, but fail later on - far earlier than a ‘legitimate’ part. I’ve heard of brake pads that ‘looked’ like the real thing, but were compressed asphalt, paint and yak dung. It wasn’t until they were damp that one box of these brake pads started smelling really bad.
There are microprocessors that only have partially functional portions of the chip. Again, passing tests like continuity, gross functionality - but incapable of executing certain commands. Just enough to get past the incoming inspection screen.
It’s not unusual to buy a reel of chips, with the first 50 units being Bin fails for speed (work great on a 1 MHz tester, but fail at full operational speed), and the rest of the reel is literally “empty” packages with no die in them at all.
The threat is that when a device is “needed”, that is may fail unexpectedly - thus jeopardizing the life of the crew. This is a legitmate threat, and a serious one.
So we have nothing to worry about?
No automatic test can test every set of inputs on a modern microprocessor. It is very possible that a determined and patient enemy can imbed a back door or remote kill in enough systems to cripple an opponent’s ability to effectively respond to a threat.
these are just the fake parts
wait until we end up in direct conflict with china and all sorts of electronic parts start ‘misbehaving’ on command
They are probabaly the same people I worked for at DoD. They used to tell me the same thing.
There ya go again Sam, making and putting reason into a purely emotional debate... damn you sam, damn you to hell..... :)
“The capitalist will sell us the rope on which we will hang them” V I Lenin
We got walkers in the wire Cap’n.
I hate expansions, but the US needs to create electronic “arsenals” to make chips for US military applications.
"Fake Chinese parts" would mean that the parts were supposed to be from China but actually originated elsewhere.
Setting aside all of the reasons they might see this as beneficial to their ends, a) does it really matter whether they did so intentionally? and b) is there anything wrong with being concerned about it?
This is tammany hall corrupt.
Why would we as a nation allow this? China (officials who don’t speak freely, so therefore their speech is condoned if not called for, by the top) even now and then threatens to nuke us. We are insane. /rhetorical
Our enemies have taken advantage of our greed and stupidity. We R so skrewd.
“You are correct in that there are no trojans, or secret backdoors.”
Almost anything connected to a computer can execute a back door trojan. Even a USB plug can host an embedded firmware trojan.
How about ‘Fake Chinese ingredients’ found in prescription drugs? We have an FDA that looks the other way and let’s China go without the inspections that the US and the rest of the world finds essential to safe medicine.
China is not our friend.
Falsely marking parts circumvents a critical step in the QA process and could be called an equivalent to sabotage.
a micro-processor with NV RAM can be hidden within a transistor or almost any other component of a circuit board.
The big issue(s) would be quality, escapism and latency. Any of the storage conditions or handling requirements could be violated and we may never know or may find out at the most inopportune time (that is what latency is all about). Intermittency and latency are the bane of quality when it comes to electronics. Of course manufacturing practices, process control, materials used, etc... all play into this as well. Of course I might not know much about that having been in the field doing QA work on microelectronics for the last 20 years.
There is no protection for IP in China - any company transferring any development or manufacturing there is asking for their IP to be ripped off and cheaply mass produced. By cheaply mass produced I mean both cheap in price and quality...
The black box might not care the first time you test it, but there are no guarantees with counterfeits after they escape your detection system. No detection system is 100% when it comes to defects testing...
Thanks the scotsman.
Yup. Wasn’t gonna go into it any further with the “horsesh!t” poster...
This is unfrigginbelievable! Why in hell are parts for our aircraft being made in China? I know that most car parts that are not OEM come from there and they are total CRAP but this is crazy!
And THAT my FRiend, is the ultimate point!
VISUAL INSPECTION is what these procurement bureaucrat ijits are talking about.
If you are relying on what's printed on the package or the reel or on the component, then THAT is the problem, because you are just as vulnerable to a failure due to an innocent mislabeling or a test escape error as you are to malicious intent.
In military equipment, you must control the acceptance test for the system.
And yes, they do partial sampling for environmental burn-in and accelerated lifetime tests, and yes you can validate system tests even if you don't verify every cell in a memory.
These systems passed the qualification tests. So either the tests are adequate and it doesn't matter functionally that they got knock-off parts that met that stringent test spec, or the tests are inadequate because when sampled in the extended burn-in tests they failed.
These stories are ENGINEERING stories about quality control. They are NOT chicom espionage stories, although the reporter word-magicians are counting on non-engineers to draw the conclusion that the chinese are magically putting TCP/IP backdoors into resistors and capacitors by mislabeling them.
Only someone who is either totally naive or willfully dishonest intellectually can make the claim you just made. Obviously you’ve either never worked in the electronics field, or if you have you’ve never worked in a proper QA role and/or taken quality seriously. Of course I work with a lot of people on the supplier side in a major medical device manufacturer that think the same exact way you just did - it is terrifying to think we rely on people who think like this...