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 ...
You watch entirely too much start trek. Yes, Jordy. During a dogfight the chinese pilot will flip a switch and all chinese made 5kOhm resistors will activate an internal program and suddenly morph into 4kOhm resistors and....something.
I have worked in the electronics industry for 17 years now. I have encountered Chinese fake components before.
Whereas I agree with the scale of what can be hidden, if the stealth component is not laid out properly then it really doesn’t matter because it won’t work. And if a designer is laying out a component with all those extra traces that he/she doesn’t know what they do then they are plain incompetent. That scale of incompetence is unlikely.
I bet I could make a component that would look like a resistor until it received a particular coded series of pulses and then make it “fail” open or shorted.
And I’m not even a sufficiently motivated, determined and patient enemy.
Fake electronic parts and inferior bogus software from China are so intertwined in American technology I don’t see how they could ever be extricated. It would be like trying to surgically remove a parasitic invasion from the brain without killing the host.
So what? You just trust that whatever someone ships you from within the US is not substandard?
What responsibility (in your world) does the system manufacturer have to test and validate the systems they build with imported or domestic components?
How about I reword your statement to be more in line with actual manufacturing practices?
The US Military is knowingly procuring US defense systems with substandard testing which can't tell the difference between standard and substandard components.
Why didn't they write that? Because mil-spec and even cots acquisition for avionics and such is so stringent that what these stories tell me is that these "counterfeit" parts are probably either very high-quality knockoffs, or, more likely, are production endstock that wasn't accounted for, or fell of a chicom mob truck. It is NOT a magic back door to F22s.
And this is exactly what these MSM writers what you to conjure in your fertile mind, and not in reality concentrate on what they actually say, which is that they were functional in-spec parts that didn't pay back into the correct IP stream.
If someone wants to do that kind of espionage, it would be easier to incorporate it into legitimately labeled parts from "domestic" chip companies.
I bet I could make a component that would look like a resistor until it received a particular coded series of pulses and then make it fail open or shorted.
And Im not even a sufficiently motivated, determined and patient enemy.
Very good point.
What kind of idiot QA person thinks that they should blindly trust a component just because it's supplied by a "domestic" company.
So you exclude all chinese chips? What about Singapore? Texas Instruments chips made in Singapore? Germany? Japan?
What's worse? A potential adversary looking to sell knock-off chips to us, or a domestic "QA expert" who can't tell the difference between a boogieman and a burn-in chamber?
Without going into details ... something as "New" as USB1.0 is typically just procured through a COTS channel. Just buy a F3I inspection on a new Motherboard - and you are off running again. Just order a new motherboard from Asus, Dell, Foxconn, Intel or whereever. These have very reliable supply chains - practically no threat. And even *if* there were, the secure networks are physically and virtually seperated from non-secure networks.
The Chicom fakes are things like resistors, capacitors, obsolete UV-erasable PROMS, 8 bit microprocessors, logic gates. If they are as "new" as 20 yrs ago, the odds are that they can and will be procured from a reliable supplier.
The Military only goes through the aftermarket on components that are 'obsolete'. You are not at risk for a "trojan" from a capacitor, resistor or a choke. For starters, there is no way to know 'where' that device is going to be located, what OS the device will run, if that device is even digital - we have quite a bit of analog in these old systems.
Did you know that the Chicoms also make fake toothpaste as well? Anything that can be made and sold at a profit is a target for counterfeiting. Watches, cell phones, iPods, iPads, jeans, perfume, brake pads, car batteries, computer components, monitors, jelly beans - the list is endless.
LOL. I bet you're going to want to pull that post. Draw me a circuit. You've got two pins. Which one is ground?
Ready? Set? Go!
(The chinese don't have to fight us if this is the extent of our education.)
You guys are hilarious. But I’d feel better if you ninnies were on their side leading them around with hare-brained concepts.
It goes like this:
Chinese intelligence identifies equipment component stream of classified US systems electronics and sets about inserting altered components containing hardware bots into the end products.
US purchases from US GSA-approved vendor. GSA approved vendor outsources parts manufacturing to licensed manufactures in other countries. The licensed manufacturers orders some component chips from suppliers who blend in Chinese counterfeit chips for remarkable price reductions. The counterfeit chips are fronted by PLA-influenced manufacturers offering components to these ~specific~ buyers at too-good-to-be-true pricing. Chinese bots are now the GSA-approved product.
And that is one way how the PLA gets hardware bots inside classified US systems.
I remember reading about a similar scandal out here in WA, some time ago.
True. There are only a few on this thread who understand it though.
Look at #53. sigh.
I buy parts from China. Have had good luck so far.
If I had to buy from US suppliers the stuff would cost an arm and a leg.
Here are some example prices I pay. (shipping is included in these prices) I usually buy from A Thai supply house but they are all China parts.
20mhz crystals .07
4 AA cell battery pack .17
1n4007 diode .01
LM317 regulator .10
L78L05 regulator .09
3v Piezo Buzzer .48
8 pin DIP IC Socket .02
1000uF Electrolytic Capacitor .05
10uF Electrolytic Capacitor .01
PN2222A Transistor .03
Dip Switch 8 Positions .20
5K OHM Trimpot .06
Plastic knobs for pots .19
CONDENSER MIC .25
small val ceramic caps .01
SM micro USB connector .23
You just can’t make anything at a reasonable price unless you buy China parts. The same quality plastic knobs are over a dollar from US supply houses...sometimes way over a dollar...it’s just a fraction of a pennies worth of plastic.
The real problem with Chinese parts is safety. The Chinese use sub-standard steel that doesn’t seem to be properly cured, creating weak spots that give at crucial points.
BP was using Chinese made parts on their newest oil tankers and was having a terrible time with parts breaking off, while at sea. BP was trying to blame it on the Captain who headed their fleet, but it wasn’t his fault. He wanted all the Chinese parts replaced. I’m not sure what the outcome was, but it was a real problem for a while.
Ever hear of a 4-20mA interface?
Wanna bet it can’t be down scaled to µA or even nA?
I’m afraid you misunderstood what I was concerned about. It was not so much that certain parts might be used to compromise our systems. (Yes that can happen believe me I know how much “testing” tends to “miss”.)
What concerned me was an interruption of spare parts needed to wage war. If domestic industry can’t provide the parts in the quality and design required your talking about an interruption in a supply chain that poses a military threat.
This has been known for a long time. What’s news is we aren’t doing anything about it.
Years ago, I bought one of those 5-foot long outlet strips from Fry's. It featured about 8 outlets well spaced, so it was easy to use every outlet with a wall wart.
I had installed it at my desk. After a few weeks, I noticed some suspicious intermittent buzzing noises, which I traced to the strip. I could jiggle some of the plugs and induce, or stop the buzzing. So at that point I figured I'd have to tear it open and see what was up.
What I found was the strangest excuses for solder joints I had seen in 50 years, even including my own beginning work back in the 50's. ≤}B^)
Many of the joints between the wire bus and the tab at the rear of each socket contact were tenuous at best. And the flux, ahhh, the flux! It was hard, vitreous, and green, in many cases insulating the mutual areas of contact between the bus wire, the socket tab, and the sorry-looking blob of solder.
I cut up, unsoldered, and removed the bus wires, cleaned up the socket tabs, replaced the bus wires with new, and resoldered everything. Took about five hours, but at least I finally had a reliable outlet strip.
I theorize that these were made (in China, of course) in dozens of little cottage shops dotting the countryside, where many of them had no notion of proper soldering technique. Some old rural Chinese lore probably told them to use pond scum for solder flux. And the go-go Chinese entrepeneur had set up these little feeder shops and aggregated them to fulfill the orders from the US retailers. Quality control? Process? Sorry, round-eyes, no time for them!
I later heard of lawsuits against Fry's over these strips. I presume some of them damaged the connected equipment, or even started fires.
I know the outcome. Click to see it.
No, it goes like this, as often observed in the non-military procurement chain, now (not surprisingly) being seen in cots programs etc:
Chinese contract manufacturers produce wafers for parts from "fabless" manufacturers from their masks.
They may make 100 thousand or easily as many as 500 thousand extra parts accidentally when a PO was canceled.
When scrapping those parts, they walk out the back door to someone's wive's brother's dad's distribution company in Taiwan or Singapore.
So far, it's one legit company doing contract work for one OEM, and one sleight of hand from a shady dude thrice removed.
--back to Justa's flow-- US purchases from US GSA-approved vendor. GSA approved vendor outsources parts manufacturing to licensed manufactures in other countries. The licensed manufacturers orders some component chips from suppliers who blend in "Chinese counterfeit" chips for remarkable price reductions. The counterfeit chips are fronted by legitimate manufacturers offering components to these ~specific~ buyers at too-good-to-be-true pricing. Identical counterfeit parts are now the GSA-approved product. --back out--
And that is one way how an industrious chinese con-men sell perfectly good parts (that would've otherwise been thrown away) inside classified US systems.
See? No chinese PLA 007's, car chases, involved or espionage mind control heat rays required!!!
This happens all the time, and it ought to be costing the OEM's billions. But in many cases the parts were overbuilt because they were EOL'd and the OEM wouldn't have made any money off the scrapped parts anyhow.
"PLA Bots" are not in resistors and capacitors, and anyway, the former has not been found or reported, the latter HAS BEEN FOUND and REPORTED, and thus, Occam prefers the latter.
Ummm, where did you study Electrical Engineering?
You must be 12 years old.
“Even a USB plug can host an embedded firmware trojan”
Easily done, I made up a gag USB cable once. I put a sm ATtiny85 inside the molded connector. I drilled it out and very carefully put the sm chip and two 3.6v zeners in there along with a few other tiny sm parts. Then I filled the hole using JB weld and spray painted the molded housing to make it look normal again.
When you plugged the thing in it was detected as a keyboard.
It would type odd things at random times :-) lol
Would be child’s play to create something similar that was sinister.
Imagine how many unknown surreptitious functions could be integrated into the keyword you’re using right now.
Well, that has absolutely nothing to do with boycotting any parts with chinese content.
It depends on what you consider "parts."
Is a military GPS plug-in radio a "part" or are the chips in them the "parts" you're talking about?
The fact is, when a war heats up in the pacific, the entire global electronics and industrial economy will come to a halt.
Because every single TV, computer, phone whatever whatever has parts from singapore, taiwan, japan, germany, china, USA, etc.
One chip goes unavailable and the whole system can't be built.
So when that happens, the military damn well better have appropriate "spare systems" available for the necessary duration, that's true. But it won't matter if the spare systems have chinese components in them.
What about the scantily clad super-models with low moral standards? Are you telling me that those too, are a farce? < /sarcasm>
There is a conspiracy behind every brush, bottle cap and piece of belly button lint.
Justa’s nothing. Wait until “null and void” tells you about the one-terminal inductor and 64-bit ARM core he’s invented!
And your bona fides are?
I know that strip!! I bought it at Fry’s in Austin, TX. It was great!! The outlets were like 25% further apart than standard.
I opened mine up because outlet #3 didn’t work. It looked like someone had taken the wire and impaled it on a prong, then hit the wire with a soldering gun and some solder. Talk about cold solder joint Valhalla.
I took out my 75 Watt Weller gun, and about 10 minutes later and about a foot of the heavy-duty rosin core solder, and it was ready to go.
Still use it - it’s a little longer than the standard, but it accomodates the “wall wart” transformers without losing 2 sets of outlets.
Do companies do 100% component testing in your world, or have they, like everyone else in the western world, adapted lean manufacturing processes?
You have to be able to trust your sources not to commit fraud. Whether the Chinese are doing it intentionally is another question.
The Chinese have duplicated nearly every electronic part there is and they sell functional parts that work......for a while. What they don’t sell, unless they are specifically required to, are milspec parts that are load tested and sturdy enough for military use.
Their other problem is quality control. Unless they are required to, they pull far fewer parts out for random testing, so Chinese electronics have a much higher failure rate.
Case in part are capacitors for frequency drives. Nearly all came from Japan, very high quality and sturdy. Then the tsunami hit and destroyed 80% of the capacitor factories.
Taiwan assembles most of the boards and had to go to Chinese capacitors that had supposedly the same QC as the Japanese. Soon, many frequency drives started to fail because of too many bad capacitors.
So, the frequency drive makers then required every Chinese capacitor to be load tested, dramatically slowing down frequency drive deliveries.
The Chinese are perfectly capable of producing high quality parts. They respond to market demand. If cheap is what you want, cheap is what you get.
There are too many electronics makers hungry for cheap parts and then passing them off as something of quality.
I heard about that project and I already have two samples.
(Sometimes, I'm just two humerus.)
I heard about that project and I already have two samples.
(Sometimes, I'm just two humerus.)
Thank you for that listing on Chinese parts.
I’ve never bought Chinese components - but I can certainly see why people do!! At those prices, even if you had 5% fallout in production, the cost savings would still make the line profitable. I’m used to dealing with a manufacturing line at the 98-99.5% yield rate - and at those levels, barely making any margins.
With the BOM at about 10% of the cost for American - I can see why they are whipping out butts.
Everything looked completely normal but when put into service the board would sometimes come alive with a mind of its own...lol The fun we had with those boards. :-)
There was 7kb of flash storage available in the tiny uC after the firmware was flashed. It would store data in that flash and spew it out again at interesting times and modified for maximum hilarity.
BTW the cheap board house is http://iteadstudio.com
You guys are hilarious. But Id feel better if you ninnies were on their side leading them around with hare-brained concepts.
You are mixing me up with someone else.
The Chinese are remarkable businessmen, I mean as a culture it seems like everyone has this dream of owning their own business. Whether it’s a bench and selling food, or opening some factory and duplicating someone else’s products.
If there is a product to be made, they will do it, they will do it as well as they can, and they will sell it cheap. I’ve seen auto-winding Rolex watches that were so good that US Pawn stores lost money buying the fakes. I’ve seen some really nice looking Tag Heur, Buliva and yes, even Timex fakes. I’ve seen fake Colgate toothpaste - but my all time favorite was the fake anti-skid brakes for one of our fighters.
This was a $2000 anti-skid brake pad for a fighter bomber. The brake pad was shaped almost perfectly, powder coated paint job, proper thickness and upon first inpection it looked ‘almost’ identical to the real thing. But, instead of brake material it was made with asphalt, dirt and Yak dung. If it weren’t by accident that a box got wet and started to smell - they could have been placed into service.
Then, when the Brass found out - the close scruitiny came out. They had cut this out of a car bumper, hammered it flat on one side (no hammer imprints on the powder-coated side. The brake material looked more ‘black’ than the ‘dark tan’ of the real thing. Also, the real brake pads don’t smell like Yak poo.
No, you couldn’t, if the test was proper. A proper test would be able to detect stray capacitance, strange forward voltages, power dissipation, etc. generated by the microprocessor as it spun up, worked, and spun down.
The only way a component like that would make it into a reliable system would be for the OEM (read American defense contractor) to give the test sufficient wiggle room, that they could substitute their own substandard parts in the design, and make a killing on government contracts.
Thems the facts, probably won’t like’em.
I see the Chinese as very astute capitalists with regards to this. They know what the American manufacturers did, and they are exploiting the same loop holes.
Improve the tests or just get rid of the computers. That isn’t going to happen. There is no modern jet fighter plane in the sky that can fly without them -— the airframes are far too unstable for a human to manage all the variables.
Our commercial airlines have been outsourcing for years...I don’t like it!
“Domestic repair stations bidding against the likes of Ameco in Beijing face steep competition. In the past few years, Ameco, a facility that employs low-wage Chinese, has enticed United Airlines to move its 747 and 777 overhaul maintenance work to Beijing.”
“We asked both United and Ameco for a visit to the Beijing facilities, and initially both accepted. Then about a week before the teams visit, after weeks of preparation with Ameco and successfully obtaining permission from the Chinese government, Ameco suddenly backed out, saying it had unforeseen events.
Southwest outsources to El Salvador:
“Even those overseas facilities that the agency visits don’t have to conduct the criminal-background checks and random drug and alcohol tests on aircraft mechanics that are required at domestic facilities. And it’s difficult for the FAA to stage surprise inspections, as it does in the U.S. Overseas outsourcing has gotten “truly out of control.”
There are even cheaper suppliers but you have to buy from them in enormously large quantities. This outfit is not the cheapest but they take paypal and shipping is very cheap for standard post...takes a couple of weeks to arrive though. You can find cheaper suppliers on ebay from China with free shipping...I just got a envelope from China with 100X 5-Pin Female Mini B USB SMD Socket Connectors for just 16.99 including the ship cost...that's 17 cents each! It's amazing.
What can we do? Seriously?
Semi-conductor equipment that used to costs tens/hundreds of millions soon becomes obsolete. It's still functional, just obsolete - so it get sold. Someone in China buys it - say from someone in Singapore. They then find an old processor, and de-process it (it's easier than you would think) and from the de-processing steps, re-create a "mask" to they can effectively counterfeit this chip.
Because they probably use no error-correcting analysis on their stolen design - they have a product with mediocure yield, and poor reliability. But, selling a 3 inch wafer that has virtually zero R&D costs, is made with obsolete components, and once that die is cut - is virtually untraceable ... what can you do?
The packaging house that sticks the die in a package doesn't necessarily know what part they are sticking in a ceramic package. They really don't care. Did the die get delivered as promised? Did the check clear? Ok, .. here are your chips.
Now, you label them with a counterfeit stamp, part number, lot number and sell them to a re-seller. Money in your pocket; and the re-seller is getting them so cheap, he doesn't care if 10% of them come back. Think of buying parts for $0.10 and selling them for $2.50 into a market where these part typically go for $5. They get gobbled up quickly.
Ever wonder why Apple iPods last seemingly forever, yet those cheap knock-offs you buy at Walmart fail after a year or two? Now you know why.
That is one of the funniest videos that I have seen, mostly because of the bit of truth that inspired it.
I sent it to my husband. I bet it goes viral within the industry.
Not saying it would be perfect, not saying it would be trivial, but a part could be made that would pass ordinary testing with flying colors and still be able to “fail” on command.
Sneaking it in gets easier if I sell it to you on the board, the higher order errors hide better in the board parasitics, non linear effects from the nearby components, etc.
If I’m a nation state or a big company with deep pockets and abundant resources I can reverse engineer a targeted chip and add a firmware trap.
THANK YOU BILL CLINTON!