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 ...
Or even not-so-deep pockets...
If you’re somehow alluding to the idea that I claimed anything could be trusted simply because it is from a domestic manufacturer, then consider your red herring straw-man knocked over. I never said or alluded to that and you know it! I merely pointed out that a lot of people in the electronics industry follow that mindset even in regards to questionable sources (ahh if it passes my terrible qual set that I biased to my advantage so that I can make my schedule and look good to the boss, then who cares right?). These same kinds of morally bankrupt people live under the illusion that they know best when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. They get away with that crap because they use peers that think likewise to buffalo their managers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “well, we haven’t seen any field returns” only to see them shortly after on many an issue I have pointed out and got the luxury of being ostracized for pointing out the obvious logical flaws. Naw, experience and track record never count for anything when it costs a few dollars more for quality, or a few more minutes of diligence and honesty vs. expediency right? That works great when we’re talking about ICDs, CRTDs and pacemakers though doesn’t it? How about guidance systems and FBW systems?
BI, be it HTRB or not, passive or active temp cycling (much better IMO), is but merely one facet of QCRI or QA/QC. I have seen BI in many forms - usually used as a manufacturing gate either on the vendor LAT die level side or in house on the manufacturing floor used as a way to shake out product that is going to be infant mortality types of failures (yes I know about and understand the bathtub curve). If you want to talk about HALT or HAAS, I tend to have a little more faith there - at least as a good means to determine the veracity of a design to begin with.
Yeah, I’ve seen many a BI chamber in my career as well as run many of them, set them up, designed BI profiles and executed BI, performed the forthcoming FA work - I know a little...
Counterfeit ICs are hardly a boogeyman - they are a real threat to quality on a much larger scale than you are (quite obviously) willing to realize. As for most passives, I couldn’t care less - unless you are talking of high-rel devices...
Whatever, think what you want... just don’t try to put words in my mouth.
Wait, wait... Harold, is that you?
Here are some of the problems that were found: (from KXLY.com)
The investigators dug through the supply chain for three types of suspected counterfeit parts on U.S. military aircraft:
—The SH-60B is a Navy helicopter that hunts for enemy submarines and assists with surface warfare. The investigation found that a part that compromised the copter’s night-vision system contained counterfeit parts that investigators traced back to China.
—The probe found counterfeit parts in the systems that tell pilots of the C-130 and C-27 cargo planes about the aircraft’s performances. The part could have caused those systems to go blank. Again the part in question was traced back to China.
—The P8-A is a Navy version of the Boeing 737 used for anti-submarine warfare and other duties. The Navy is testing the aircraft now and intends to buy more than 100 of them. But the test planes contained a reworked part that never should have been on the airplane. The part was used but made to look new. The part, investigators found, originally came from China.
But the committee didn’t reserve all its blame for China; some of it was directed right at the Pentagon itself.
The report said in each of the three cases that the committee investigated in depth, the Department of Defense was unaware that counterfeit electronic parts had been installed on certain defense systems until the committee’s investigation.
Even though the report just came out, the committee has already taken action to deal with the problem. Levin and McCain offered an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act to address weaknesses in the defense supply chain and to promote the adoption of aggressive counterfeit avoidance practices by DOD and the defense industry.
The amendment was adopted in the final bill signed by President Barack Obama on December 31, 2011.
Part of that law will mean that when a contractor finds bad parts on a weapons system, the contractor or the parts supplier will pay to fix the problem. In the past, those costs were often borne by the DOD.
Not worried about capacitors, resistors, etc. Just processors.
I’m sure you are right. But it is still a security issue to leave the US dependent on foreign processors.
That giant sucking sound Vote for Ross !
Oops, too late
Good post ... but here’s the problem.
Parts in aircraft are routinely removed and sent to various “Depots” throughout the world for maintenance, re-calibration, testing and upgrades.
Now, you take a radio that supplier ‘x’ fixed, and he finds a bad (chip, resistor, capacitor, choke). Who put the bad part in the Field Servicable Unit (FSU) or Laboratory Repairable Unit (LRU)? Countess hands have touched it, and you can bet the farm that everyone with a finger in this, is going to point it at someone else.
The problem is that the Counterfeit parts look almost exactly like the real thing. And I’m unaware of any supplier who knowingly would jeopardize his livelihood by knowingly purchasing counterfeit parts to put into a goverment device. I mean, if a replacement component costs $1,000 and you get 15% mark-up; would you knowingly replace that component with a cheap knock-off? Would you risk your company and/or job on something like this?
The problem is that these parts get mixed into large populations of legitimate parts - because there is a huge trade in obsoletel chips on the international market. It’s not just the USA that has aging aircraft out there, but also our allies and enemies. If you think it’s rough on us, think about a country like Russia.
Ummm, as an engineer I can tell you that all these components are usually vital. Design engineers do not put resistors on a board because they are pretty - everything is there for a reason, whether it's to current-limit, impedance match a signal, provide a default logic level (pull-up/down), do a voltage-scaling operation, or just to dampen out an impulse step function. A computer system will hang just as dead with a bad resistor, as it will with a bad processor.
If you get a Double-Bus Fault, everthing comes to a stop. All it takes is for a single illegal bit of data to be on the bus twice in a row; and the show comes to an immediate halt. This is a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) - immediate crash, non-recoverable. With a bad resistor, capacitor and whatnot - this is what you are going to have on a permanent condition. A re-boot won't fix it.
Where all of that is plausible, it has nothing to do with placing a microprocessor inside of a single transistor, which is what the original post is proposing.
Additionally, just because something is plausible does not mean it is likely. The Chinese made fakes I have seen so far are only partially functional. This is because, the Chinese do not have the technology (yet) to make high end wafers. They can make modem chips, WiFi chips, etc, but they cannot copy an Intel processor at this point.
I hear suicide is painless.
QUIT BUYING CHINESE SHIT!
“What does this say about the typical US voter?”
Like the 52% who voted-in 0bummer&Co? And the 46% who now approve of the “job” he’s doing?
Heh; I’d get in trouble if I said what I’m thinking.
Also, don’t forget where instead accidentally have extra components, the factory works off shifts to produce components for the same relative but with their own companies name. They will cut corners on testing end end up with partially functional ships that fail later.
I assembly boards and it is so annoying to find them after assembly and usually during test.
If they are we really are in deep puckey.
Yes. But capacitors, resistors, buses, etc. are commodities. Don’t like the PRC? For a bit more, you can get them from elsewhere by the bucket full.
More importantly, from a “007ish” viewpoint, they don’t manipulate data - you can’t hide a cache on them and run the hidden instructions later (I hope...).
They are probabaly the same people I worked for at DoD. They used to tell me the same thing.
I had an interesting conversation once with a Air Force Colonel when discussing a new “system”. It relied in part on GPS signals to function properly. He asked me what I thought of the system. I told him I liked it well enough but I was concerned that a major portion was not under our local control. As I told him quite forcefully, “Unless you can reach out your hand and touch something it is not under your control, and anything that was not under our local control was a major weak point in our mission operations.”
He told me that the GPS was under our control. I told him in turn “Yes Sir, now it is. But what about jamming it or even subverting it? Then it is no longer ours but a weapon in the enemies arsenal against us.” When he left my station he had a contemplative look on his face.
Good for you!
you do realize systems can be compromised, right? not all components are just duds or software viruses stealing your game account.
embedding systems that will respond under certain criteria would be ideal. imagine a chip that sits idle until it receives a signal. then it just ‘pings’ it’s location. sounds innocent enough... unless the chip is in your sincgars handset, which you thought was in ‘quiet’ mode. oops... you just told them where you are, so much for stealth.
that same signal could be used for homing... leading a weapon system (missile, drone, whatever) right to you
btw, ‘start trek’ never did anything like this. i believe the new ‘battlestar galactica’ series started off this way.
Certainly not the U.S. Government.
Look no further than our lawless, violent open borders.
You are speaking of commercial Chinese enterprises. I am speaking of state-sponsored espionage equipment routinely discovered embedded in components of certain restricted-access computer systems. You obviously have no knowledge of this and I have no desire to debate it.
I think the front fell off the Romney campaign.
Back when I was a big deal I routinely rejected material of any sort for use in our nuclear submarines, no ifs, no ands, no buttz, no questions asked, if the item was not clearly traceable to a US manufacturer. I didn’t have the authority to keep it out of the entire federal stock system but I dam sure kept it out of our ships. Origin was a point of inspection for “ïncoming freight”. I fail to see the problem keeping this untraceable krap out of here except there seems to be a lack of guys with “hair.” The guys I trained in the discipline are getting into retirement mode now so maybe we’re losing our edge in yet another way. There are clear procedures and stiff penalties for prosecuting vendors who lowball the specs. A better grade of president might be able to jack up the inspector general corpse (as currently operating).
That’s why i could not buy a lenovo laptop. Who knows what these jackholes placed inside?
I wonder if the special forces helicopter that we lost in Pakistan had fake Chinese parts. Or the drone we lost in Iran.
Fake Chinese parts? or Fake parts from China.
“I buy parts from China. Have had good luck so far.”
I doubt you are buying fake parts from China for our military planes, our civilian planes, or our special forces helicopters. A failure rate here is not an option. That’s why we have mil specs on critical components.
“-—not a functional security issue”-—WRONG-—in spades. If one of my critical systems lets go in an unpredictable, untimely, catastrophic way I dam sure want to go eyeball-to-eyeball with the retrograde bleephole who made it AND the slimeball who sold it to me . If same bleephole is hiding in China, India Mexico etc he’s out of my reach. You go ahead and bench test all the stuff you can get your hands until you’re happy. But you’re not going to do, oh, say, a million cycle reliability test on your Heathkit Hobby Set. And my suppliers all know I got zero sense of humor. They’d better not sound like Mell Tillis ordering breakfast if something goes south. And we’re usually talking big bucks on both the hardware and consequences of failure side.
You want to test your way into quality assurance then YOU drive it.
This is the kind of crap happening when DoD decided that DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) should manage everybody’s aircraft parts. When the aircraft program offices were only buying parts from the OEMs, they got accused of buying overpriced stuff and being in bed with the contractors. Now that DLA is running it, this is the kind of sh!+ that is getting on aircraft. DLA doesn’t give a crap, it’s just a stock number to them. They look at landing gear sets the same way they look at ballpoint pens and staplers. They’ll buy it from anybody and QA is damn near non-existent.
Didn't know about the change. Even some people here are missing the point that we're talking about aircraft parts and other critical components, not toys.
I can see the possibility for what you describe to occur, but this is WA State, where much of this took place. This was all in the news at the time that unions were fighting with Boeing over the move to South Carolina, and contractors were identified.
Then all of a sudden the investigation was moved to Congress and we didn’t hear any more about it.
Unions and politics - same old story.
Wow, what a terse response.
Good day then.
You would think that “certain restricted-access computer systems” would do a better job of monitoring their supply chain...strange how a lowly telecom company like the one I work for can manage to do it...
GALS, PALS and EPROMS baby!
You can program them to anything and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, flavors and colors.
“You want to test your way into quality assurance then YOU drive it.”
Nail, meet hammer!
This is the problem - people think you can test in quality. That just simply cannot be done. You can test functionality at a point in time on the manufacturing floor after you’ve done certain things to mete out infant mortals; all the while doing your level best to provide a test with adequate coverage, yet you cannot ever guarantee 100% that what you send out the door will be reliable.
You can sometimes get to 98-99% yields and see six sigma like performance in the field if you take the time to first sample properly (many fab houses charge you dearly for adequate sampling), do things like outlier elimination using a proper test and meaningful statistical data, not following logical fallacies and using a sound philosophy in the first place, but you never can cover 100% of all scenarios.
I like the way you think - too few of us nowadays!
Hey, we want REAL Chinese parts in our planes. NO FAKES!/s;)
Oh but we love that cheap shit from China don’t we.
At least that’s what the politicians/treasoness thieves tell us.
Don’t be so smug. I am certain your company has counterfeit components in its equipment. The “monitoring of the supply chain” is a complete joke! They inspect paperwork and do QC testing, not teardown and crush inspections of individual components from sub-contractors whom they have no oversight of.
No company makes all its parts. If you had any idea of the number of manufacturers contributing parts to communications equipment you wouldn’t be so confident in your company’s equipment.
Putting devices inside commercial communications equipment for the purpose of espionage, control or sabotage has been going on for decades, mostly by the West. Now it’s being done by China with components going into US systems. But you don’t think anyone could do that to us? Pure hubris.
Yes, this is true - they are commodies. But, here's the rub. The Gov't runs off Technical Orders (TO's). The TO has a parts list, a drawing of the board, in some cases the schematic as well as maintenance, testing, calibaration and operational guidelines. Each piece of equipment may have a thousand page TO tied to it. So, if a resistor goes obsolete - now you need to change the TO on thousands of components (in which each obsoletel resistor was used) not only across our military/govermental operaions, but also across the TO's owned by our allies. Do you have any idea how expensive it is to republish a gazillion TO's in multiple languages?
Take the humble Carbon Composition resistor. Used to be common as dirt, now they are exceeded in precision by many other technologies - however the Carbon Comp is like a pinch of playdoh - it has thermal mass to it. Unlike film resistors which have an incredably thin film of resistive material, Carbon Composite can withstand significantly larger amounts of inrush current that would destroy a film resistor. Now, does the application in which this resistor is used require the large "in-rush" capability?
It's an unholy mess. And we are flying aircraft that will be nearly 100 years old before they are retired (as in the B-52).
Thank you for explanation. Didn’t know about different types of resistors; I thought a resistor had an ohm value and that was it... I guess they need to a surge protector or “leveler” or something in front of the film resistors...
“And we are flying aircraft that will be nearly 100 years old before they are retired (as in the B-52).”
Takes your breath away, that somebody could build an airplane like that. It would be like the HMS Iron Duke serving in the Falklands... Sad truth is, I think a C-130 could do much of the job of a B-52 today (just roll the bombs out the back...). I suspect the B-52 would have a very short life expectancy in a contested airspace.
The more you learn about these old components, the more you realize the 'why' about various components. Take the capacitor for example - these not only vary in size and value, but their frequency response varies greatly with the material they are made. Titanium, polymer, electrolytic, mica and more - each have their strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these strengths/weaknesses is a hallmark of a good Design Engineer. If you want the design to be robust, you use the right tool for the right job, right?
Thus, when the logicistics group gets ahold of a parts list that calls out specific resisters - we have no clue as to whether this component was used simply because it was in stock in the lab at the time the designe was being prototyped; or whether this specific component was chosen due to it's various properties. Because of the expense in finding these specific components, and the implied risk of using a "generic" component when a specific part was called out - plus the cost of changing the Tech. Orders ... even if an obsolete resistor costs $100 apiece instead of $0.06, it's cheaper to buy the origional component. Keep those planes in the air.
The problem is that China sees these obsolete resistors selling for $100 each, and they can mix carbon powder into plaster-of-paris as well as we can. Mix enough and you have a resistor. Paint it to look like the "real" thing, and you have an extremely profitable counterfeiting line. And they may work fine for awhile ... then they fail after some period of time. But, so what? They cashed that check, and have changed their company name and have gotten away with a very profitable counterfeit product. This is the problem we face.
Thank you. And that's the only subject these scare articles actually pertain to. FRAUD. Not ESPIONAGE.
There's evidence and proof of obvious commercial fraud. There's no indication whatsoever of the PLA secretly inserting magic backdoors into resistors that readers are inferring.
The article is third-rate hearsay from a report from DEMOCRAT Carl Levin and RINO John McCain for crying out loud.
The article uses "fake" and "counterfeit" interchangeably. If it's a fake blank package, it won't function. The article also says "Of the 16 items bought, all were counterfeit and some had bogus identification numbers." If it's got A CLEARLY MARKED DIFFERENT PART NUMBER STAMPED ON IT then it's not a goddam counterfeit!!
Yet from this, the PLA is trying to sneak backdoors into systems by clearly marking their surreptitious parts with the wrong part numbers? Come on!
It says, "[counterfeit parts] were also found in memory chips in the display systems of C-17..." Nonsense. Did they mean that counterfeit chips were found in memory modules? Or they de-capped the chips and found counterfeit dice in memory chips? This article is good for nothing but promoting FUD from a RINO and a Dem to make the defense system vendors look as bad as the Chinese and deflect any blame from incompetent bureaucratic procurement QA weenies.
I'm 2/3 your 59 and "hold" twice the patents, FRiend.
But your statement raises a red flag. How many of those are you listed as "sole" inventor?
Nobody "builds the world's first uP w/ on-chip ROM...." by themselves. People who play a part on the team and then claim to be "the guy" are well known types. You sound like one of them.
Also, how many of those patents that you "hold" have you assigned to some company for $1 because you don't understand IP agreements?
You've been around the sun 59 times, but I see I was still correct on your maturity.
cherry1: ...If one of my critical systems lets go in an unpredictable, untimely, catastrophic way I dam sure want to go eyeball-to-eyeball with the retrograde bleephole who made it AND the slimeball who sold it to me
WRONG. You should go toe to toe with the "retrograde bleephole" whose acceptance criteria and test program allowed a faulty or fraudulent component into your critical system because they merely trusted what was written on the label.
sten: you do realize systems can be compromised, right?
Of course. Which is why a boycott of components marked "Made in China" and blindly trusting parts made elsewhere is dumb. Your test regime should identify fraudulent and substandard and "magic backdoor" components....not the label on the damn shipping carton.
That's how the original Trojan Horse gambit worked!!!!! herrrow!!?
I think that's true. I believe that doctrine dictates that they don't go in until we've achieved decisive air superiority.
As to the service life of the BUFF, I wish they'd go ahead and fund the long-stalled project to re-engine the beasts with four modern engines: CF-6 or even GenX.
I’ll agree with your post because it is (mostly) accurate - I’ll get to the qualifier in a bit. I should’ve been more to the point that I was not referring to only this article, but more to the overall issue of counterfeiting that is well documented and has been going on for a long time. China is a major player in the counterfeit market (I will include fakes and intentional mis-marks in that category). Realistically, China may be the biggest player in this.
I only ever argued the realities of the situation and its impact on quality. I never made any spectacular claims about magic back doors in two or three legged components or anything of that nature - never once alluded to that.
I have seen poor work practices cause the issues inherent in allowing counterfeits and poorly qualified vendors (ones claiming to sell the exact same part - number, marking and all), but when decapped - a very different die appears. These were latent failures that passed a dozen or more very stringent test protocols (both functional and manufacturing defects test types) throughout production and caused a major recall a few years down the road (devices should’ve lasted a minimum of five). Some of this is brought on by cronyism in departmental upper echelon, some of it by desuetude/short term memory of management, or just plain intellectual dishonesty among the same and their reports. These are people skirting the system to make themselves look good short term and get promotions, which only bolsters their clout to the unknowing fops in mgmt as time marches on.
I see the same going on here and have seen what passes for quality in the military first hand (usually whomever does the best job of smoking their superior’s pole or has their lips most firmly attached to their bum is the one who gets the promotion - usually).
Finally, Mil-Specs are (in a lot of cases) somewhat general and left up to interpretation. They assume that the individual engineer will place an emphasis on knowing their product and its limitations. The specs also assume that the cognizant individual will chose a proper method to vet the device within the constraints of their specific design and manufacturing allowances, which best represents usage in a given system. This all hinges on proper qualification of vendors, which is a huge mouthful.
Nobody "builds the world's first uP w/ on-chip ROM...." by themselves.
True that. I did the final design rule check on the layout, and I did all the lithography and etching on the first lot. (Interesting sidebar, I did the DRC in a vacuum, just me, the rules, and a printout with no other info. It really bothered my boss that I told him how many people did the layout, and which areas were done by each, just from the stylistic variations.)
I parleyed one of my patents into a job where I earned over half a million. Other than that, yeah, most of my patents were developed on company time with company resources and company colleagues.
Since I mostly deal with the actual wafer processing most of my improvements remained trade secrets. You know why, don't you?
I also had a former company patent one of my ideas without naming me as the inventor. Too bad they folded before I could sue them *sigh*.
So, enlighten me as to IP agreements...
Agreed, at least as far as you and I know, anyway.
All I'm saying is that such a thing is possible, not that it's ever actually been done.
Here’s some cases of actual prosecution of fraud in chip sales:
And a little article from ECN on what types of counterfeiting there are:
If a chip that was never a Moto, AD, TI, etc chip has a Moto, AD, TI logo on it, I don’t care what the exact part number is/was. The fact is, the ChiComs are peddling their shite under the name of a reputable company. Same deal in rifle scopes: If the phony scope is carrying the markings of a Leupold and has a name of “Leupold” on it, I don’t care whether it is a 5X fixed power scope that Leupold doesn’t sell: It’s still a counterfeit and a fraudulent use of an established company’s name.
The U.S. Government has become corrupt to the core.
I've wasted lots of time learning the legal side of patents....orders of magnitude more than the "simple" side: the inventing! =)
In process, gaining many of the same black eyes and broken ribs everyone else has gotten from the IP monster.
For that particular case, you do not have to sue. If it was granted, or is still under review, you can file with the USPTO and have the thing invalidated....won't cost you a dime! Even if the company went under, perhaps some creditor assumed the rights? If it's an orphan, and nobody's pursuing it, you could go and file a provisional patent on your own and lay claim to it from scratch, or some novel twist on it in hindsight. If it was rejected, you won't get very far. But if it just died on the review vine from going out of business or neglect, you can probably resurrect the idea.
It's funny how if you had released the idea anonymously on FR, for example, to where it was out in the public domain, you could also terminate their lingering rights to it and while technically fraud, it's actually a just outcome and you could manufacture and sell the thingy free and clear (but so could others of course).
I don't think there was any need for us to get cross wise on this thread, and I apologize for reacting. But these content free technical articles using Carl Levin and John Frakkin MCpain as the technical experts burn me up.
Fraud is rampant. All of this is due to greedy sob's trying to make a Yuan.
But they're not just screwing the roundeye. They're screwing Samsung, Toshiba and Siemens too.
Certainly the PLA is poking around at the periphery too.
But they won't try to insert espionage into parts that are mislabeled!
In fact, they would LOVE for Levin and Mcpain to "win" and think that they've closed the entry vector, so they can funnel whatever without suspicion through a Singapore contingent.