News

Strike-one for the defense industry

A week or so ago I wrote that economic hard times for the defense industry no longer are on the horizon; they're here. In that blog, entitled "Military business slows to a trickle; now a matter of how hard things will get," I pointed out three things to watch for to get a sense of how hard military business is going to be hit: the presidential election, sequestration, and the 2014 Pentagon budget request. As for the first item, as you probably know by now, Barack Obama -- bringing his hostility to the military in general and for defense spending in particular -- has been re-elected president. ... Read More

: John Keller
: 11/14/2012
: Military & Aerospace Magazine

Europe has a lot to say about Counterfeit Semiconductors. Part I: When can you compare a semiconductor to a sausage?

Everyone knows that counterfeit is not limited to just electronics. But, as one of our OCM contacts said today, “A counterfeit purse is still a purse. Yes, it’s harmful to the company’s brand, but you’re not going to get hurt or die if the handle breaks off prematurely…” Electronics counterfeiting is like fake medicine or tainted food. Munich offers some of the finest food in the world. Authentic traditional sausages, beer and cheeses to start! When you can have the best, why would you want to bite into a sausage that used sawdust as filler or cheese that used toxic chemicals to accelerate the aging process? When it comes to a semiconductor, one that is sub-par either in specification or as an outright fake, can harm you just as quickly as food poisoning received from a poorly made sausage. And as we are all aware, semiconductors make their way into life sustaining critical daily operation systems. What we’re finding out is that proliferation of counterfeit is just as bad in Europe as it is in the United States. ... Read More

: George Karalias, Rochester Electronics
: 11/14/2012
: Rochester Electronics

Fake tech gear has infiltrated the U.S. government

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A record number of tech products used by the U.S. military and dozens of other federal agencies are fake. That opens up a myriad of national security risks, from dud missiles to short-circuiting airplane parts to cyberespionage. Despite laws designed to crack down on counterfeiters, suppliers labeled by the U.S. government as "high risk" are increasing their sales to federal agencies. Their presence in government's supply chain soared 63% over the past decade, according to a new study released by IHS, a supply chain management consultancy. ... Read More

: David Goldman
: 11/08/2012
: CNN Moneytech

Electrical grid attacked, cybersecurity more important now than ever

Last month an attack was carried out on the Telvent, the maker of software and services meant to be used with smart grid networks. The attack was announced as a breach of Telvent's internat firewall and security systems, and Telvent officials said the attack included the installation of malicious software and the theft of project files for OASyS SCADA (supervistory control and data acquisition), software that bridges the gap between enterprise networks and activities in the field. In a time where these SCADA systems are used to regulate the electrical grid through the Internet or over phone lines, a serious attack can result in electricity being denied to hundreds of thousands of people. Attacks on the infrastructure of our country are a real threat to the lives of citizens. The attack on Telvent was believed to have come from a Chinese hacking team called the "Comment Group", according to Joe Steward, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks. ... Read More

: Skyler Frink
: 11/06/2012
: Military & Aerospace Magazine

At IHS-Sponsored Webcast, NASA Identifies Counterfeiting as One of Greatest Challenges

El Segundo, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2012)—NASA has always confronted big challenges in outer space, from putting men on the moon, to landing an SUV-sized rover on Mars, to sending a probe 5.7 billion kilometers to explore Pluto. However, back here on Earth, the storied agency now is facing what may be an even bigger challenge: the scourge of counterfeit parts, a phenomenon that threatens the success of its missions, the safety of its personnel and the security of the country. To help combat this problem, NASA on Friday spoke at a webcast in cooperation with IHS detailing its robust approach to the counterfeit-part deluge, including methods to assess suppliers’ capabilities and expose deficiencies. Delivered by Steven Foster, head of procurement quality assurance at the Dryden Flight Research Center, the presentation covered comprehensive data, processes and tools NASA uses to support its counterfeit detection and avoidance efforts. “Our number one challenge is counterfeit parts,” Foster told an online audience of more than 500 registered attendees. “Because of this, we engage in extensive activities to mitigate risk, including working with outside organizations like IHS and ERAI.” ... Read More

: [None specified]
: 11/06/2012
: Electronic Products

Electrical grid attacked, cybersecurity more important now than ever

Last month an attack was carried out on the Telvent, the maker of software and services meant to be used with smart grid networks. The attack was announced as a breach of Telvent's internat firewall and security systems, and Telvent officials said the attack included the installation of malicious software and the theft of project files for OASyS SCADA (supervistory control and data acquisition), software that bridges the gap between enterprise networks and activities in the field. In a time where these SCADA systems are used to regulate the electrical grid through the Internet or over phone lines, a serious attack can result in electricity being denied to hundreds of thousands of people. Attacks on the infrastructure of our country are a real threat to the lives of citizens. The attack on Telvent was believed to have come from a Chinese hacking team called the "Comment Group", according to Joe Steward, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks. ... Read More

: Skyler Frank
: 11/06/2012
: Military & Aerospace Magazine

High risk defense suppliers soar, report finds

PARIS – The number of high risk suppliers to the U.S. government agencies, defense contractors and subcontractors, as well as all military and commercial electronics application markets increased by 63 percent from 2002 to 2011, according to market research firm IHS iSuppli. In 2011, IHS observed that a total of 9,539 suppliers were reported either for known involvement in high-risk, fraudulent and suspect counterfeit part transactions, or for conduct identified by the government as grounds to debar, suspend or otherwise exclude from contract participation. There were 5,849 in 2002. ... Read More

: Anne-Francoise PELE
: 10/31/2012
: EE Times

Scale of counterfeiting problem is revealed in new figures

The number of high risk suppliers to the US government, including companies that sold suspect counterfeit product to military and commercial electronics channels, increased dramatically by 63% from 2002 to 2011, according to market analyst IHS. "This large and growing trend highlights the need for members of all tiers of the supply chain to implement tighter supplier-monitoring and procurement procedures in order to meet increasingly stringent regulations," said IHS. ... Read More

: Richard Wilson
: 10/29/2012
: Electronics Weekly

Leading Technology Companies Announce Creation of Cyber Security Research Alliance

Washington, DC - October 24, 2012 - Today, leading technology companies announced the creation of the Cyber Security Research Alliance (CSRA). The CSRA is a private, non-profit research consortium formed in response to the growing need for increased public-private collaboration to address complex problems in cyber security. The founding members of the CSRI are Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Honeywell, Intel Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and RSA/EMC. President Obama has prioritized cyber threats as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation and a dependency to America's economic prosperity in the 21st century. CSRA seeks to achieve coordinated industry participation to address national cyber security research and development (R&D) imperatives and bridge the gap between government funded R&D and commercially available products and solutions in cyber security. CSRA will focus on challenges that are bigger than any one company, consortium, sector or nation and ensure that government, industry and academia collaborate on in-depth problem understanding and definition.

... Read More

: Mary Phillips, Lockheed Martin
: 10/24/2012
: Cyber Security Research Alliance

Combating fake chips by controlling supply chain

In December 2011, President Barack Obama signed the fiscal year 2012 US National Defense Authorization Act. The budget bill also encourages the implementation of procedures to mitigate the possibility of obtaining counterfeit components by making members of all tiers of the defense supply chain accountable. The meaning of the term counterfeit in this context includes fake, substandard, damaged, or mismarked components. In the fall of 2011, for the first time in history, U.S. Federal Courts prosecuted an individual for trafficking in counterfeit integrated circuits, many of which were targeted for the U.S. military. Others were to be used in brake systems in high-speed trains and instruments used by firefighters to detect nuclear radiation. The administrator of the company that sold the components was sentenced to 38 months in prison and assessed fines of $166,141 for selling almost $16 million worth of semiconductors falsely marked as military, commercial or industrial grade. ... Read More

: George Karalias, Rochester Electronics
: 10/24/2012
: EE Times