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As much as five percent of the world’s supply of electronic parts could be counterfeit, putting data at risk and causing machine failures, according to an investigation by Engineering & Technology magazine and reported by

“Not only are they spreading like viruses, but many of the dodgy parts even include viruses themselves. In fact trading standards experts spoken with by E&T warned that viruses or malware have been found in all kinds of gadgets, from simple gizmos like digital photo frames to USB keys,” they said.

The counterfeit parts come from the “grey market,” components which were not approved by the original manufacturer, or through the “green market,” refurbished and second-hand goods. The parts often pass as new in Internet brokerages, E&T said.

The Inquirer story here: “Counterfeit electronics trade is killing the industry”

Tom Kelchner