Washington DC – An unclassified government PowerPoint presentation documenting Chinese counterfeiting of Cisco routers has been published on the net. The Federal Bureau of Investigation document was produced on January 11, 2008 and discusses how counterfeit routers, switches and interface cards make it inside of American companies and government organizations.
While contractors are supposed to use genuine Cisco parts, the low price of counterfeits – in some cases one-fifth the price of a genuine Cisco part – is just too irresistible to many companies. The FBI says the government procurement process which uses layers of contractors and subcontractors adds to the problem.
The bureau says it has raided several companies around the nation which sold and installed counterfeit Cisco gear. In many cases, the equipment can cause network failures because of shoddy wiring and workmanship, according to the FBI. The power point presentation outlines several cases where the counterfeit networking gear caused duplicate MAC addresses and one case where a router caught fire because of a faulty power supply.
In addition to counterfeit gear being purchased through subcontractors, the FBI says Chinese gear is making its way to online auction sites like eBay. Cash strapped companies needing Cisco gear will often purchase these components for their network closets. Of course, shifty government contractors can also purchase the same gear and profit handsomely by charging full genuine Cisco prices.
You can view the PowerPoint presentation on AboveTopSecret.com here.