Perry E. Metzger wrote:
It turns out that the counterfeit chips business is booming:

http://www.eetimes.com/rss/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207401126

In combination with the news about what as few as 1500 extra gates can
do, this is especially worrisome.

Chip pirating is a huge problem. Part of the reason we think it is
ethical to release the Crypto-1 details is the fact that pirated Mifare
chips have been sold for years.

Pirating becomes more widespread as the chip manufacturing is
outsourced. The cost of manufacturing a small volume of chips is
dominated by cutting the "masks" used in the lithographic process steps.
Once these masks are built, shelling out more chip copies is relatively
cheap which enables manufacturers to overproduce and sell pirated copies.

Adding a backdoor to chips is a different story, though, since that
would require cutting a second set of masks. I am assuming that there
must be no backdoor in the legitimately produced chips since the client
would detect it as a slight violation of some of their timing
simulations. The client also often inspects the masks before the chips
are produced and basically reverse-engineers the whole chip on that level.



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