Computer equipment maker Cisco soon will release a tool that automatically detects imitations of its branded products on federal customer systems, a Cisco executive told Nextgov.
For years, many U.S. agencies unwittingly have bought and installed counterfeit Cisco goods from retailers, jeopardizing the security of government networks, according to the company and federal authorities. Procurements of fake hardware and software are a growing problem governmentwide, notably within the Pentagon. After ordering military-grade electronics between August 2011 and February 2012, undercover agents with the Government Accountability Office received 40 price quotes for bogus parts from online retailers based in China.
“There are rogue partners out there that represent themselves as Cisco partners and they are not,” Patrick Finn, Cisco senior vice president for the public sector, said during an interview. “We are working with the customer to ensure that when they buy a piece of Cisco equipment it is a piece of Cisco equipment.”
Weeding out forged routers and switches “has been something that’s been a focus for us” on the supply chain side of the business, he said. Some of the fraudulent branding comes from China, Finn added.