US And Canada Put A Damper On Hardware Pirates

In an ongoing initiative, the FBI said that over the past two years U.S. and Canadian law enforcement agencies have sent 10 hardware pirates to jail.

The initiative, dubbed Operation Cisco Raider, is a coordinated effort between the FBI, U.S. Customs, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. So far the effort, which has been underway since 2005, has resulted in the seizure of approximately 74,000 counterfeit network routers, switches, interface cards, and other modules posing as legitimate Cisco Systems equipment. The FBI said that the fake hardware had a street value of around $73 million.

"Counterfeit network hardware entering the marketplace raises significant public safety concerns and must be stopped. This initiative shows that through collaboration among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors worldwide, we can achieve dramatic enforcement results and protect public safety," said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division. "It is critically important that network administrators in both private sector and government perform due diligence in order to prevent counterfeit hardware from being installed on their networks."

In early May the European Union (EU) and U.S. officials announced that a similar joint effort took place during November and December of 2007. That effort resulted in the seizure of more than 360,000 counterfeit computer parts and related circuitry, which posed as legitimate hardware from 40 technology companies. The FBI said that most of the hardware was shipped from China, and the FBI is working with China's Ministry of Public Security (MPS) to stop the exportation and manufacturing of counterfeit hardware.

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