How trustworthy is your digital hardware?

Most engineers design systems under the assumption that the underlying hardware is free of malicious elements. That assumption, researchers say, is false.

In May 2010, for example, the FBI’s Operation Network Raider seized more than 700 pieces of counterfeit Cisco network hardware and labels with an estimated retail value of more than $143 million. While that scheme was likely conceived for financial gain, designers of integrated circuits, or microchips, also need to protect military, financial, transportation, and other critical digital infrastructure from Trojans inserted by intruders with other criminal or military intentions.

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