Chinese Microchips Are Considered Impossible To Regulate
By David Fulghum, Bill Sweetman, Jen DiMascio
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
June 04, 2012
The potential for specialized microchips from China to find their way into U.S. computers and networks, or even into conventional Western weapons systems, isn't just a frightening prospect—it's a chilling reality.
The defense industry supply chain is rife with counterfeit parts, and efforts to police it are failing. The potential that these parts could compromise the quality of U.S.-made defense systems is bad enough, but on top of that Chinese components could offer a back door to cybersnoops, escalating the threat of cyberspying and intellectual theft.
The U.S. knows about the potential of such capabilities because it is conducting its own research in that rarified arena of cybercombat. Draper Laboratory, for example, has a long-running project to design ways of planting hostile circuitry inside what appear to be standard microchips. This could easily become—or may already be—a two-way street, since many avionics and military systems now include generic and commercial off-the-shelf chips built into custom processor boards.