Almost £1M Worth of Counterfeit IT Equipment Seized by Police
Ron Perillo / 3 years ago
Officers from the City of London Police’s intellectual property crimes unit were following a tip that led to the seizure of close to £1M worth of computer hardware. These were not any normal IT equipment hardware, but were actually thousands of dodgy counterfeit hardware items. Police estimate that if the sale had gone through, it would have netted the criminals £300,000. D
Counterfeit Hardware Crime Increasing
When people think of organized crime, they usually associate them with drugs or firearms. Detective Sergeant Kevin Ives told Sky News that counterfeit hardware is lucrative business to organized crime due to less risk. It is also a lot easier to move than drugs or firearms. Law enforcement is always on the look out for drugs and firearms, but to most people, IT hardware is just IT hardware. Discerning a legitimate product from a counterfeit item is not as obvious.
In fact, the materials are verified as counterfeit by specialists from Cisco Networks. They were also present at the premises during the search and raid operation. The equipment found includes small form-factor pluggable transceivers which fetch for a considerable amount despite their size. It finds use in communication networks for converting electrical signals to optical signals.
There is no evidence that the hardware has any malware. However, police warn that their lower quality construction puts consumers at risk. In comparison, standard networking equipment requires validation and proper testing before it hits the market.