Bloomberg recently reported (full report here) that an attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.
In 2016 we presented a solution to this threat at the SMTA Symposium on Counterfeit Parts and Materials. X-ray inspection and AI are the key technologies we deploy to make sure this threat is excluded from our supply chain.
At this presentation we alerted people of the dangers of criminal entities embedding malicious parts onto the boards to enable cyberattacks. At that time we were doing work with a commercial organization to provide them with an x-ray system to inspect boards coming from different vendors. The x-ray system we sold them was powered with an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that learned what a good board look like, and over time was able to pick up even the smaller of foreign objects. The reference images used to train the AI engine were carefully x-ray inspected to avoid training the engine with the wrong data. The images in the presentation are representations of the real boards – not the real stuff we ended up working on (which is covered under NDAs). These are our images that we took to be able to demonstrate how to prevent a potentially disastrous problem.
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today for more information about this threat and about counterfeit detection in general.