Countering Counterfeits

Doug Bodner

Counterfeit parts and goods are an increasing problem in commercial and defense supply networks. In defense supply networks, counterfeit electronics in particular have created risks for deployed systems that need replacement electronic parts. Risks include system safety (due to faulty counterfeit electronics) and system security (due to back-doors in counterfeits). This vulnerability has resulted from many trends, including obsolescence of replacement components and globalization of electronics supply networks, both of which enable potentially untrustworthy supply vendors. This project studies ways to address the issue through supply network designs and policies. Of particular interest is how such designs and policies may produce unintended effects. For instance, the defense department may require supplier certification to increase trustworthy supply sources. Does this cause suppliers to reduce their defense business due to extra expense? A large-scale interactive simulation model has been developed as a test-bed for various designs and policies to demonstrate their effect and their interactions. The policy-maker can execute the model with his or her policy and design choices, and the visual interface will show the results. In addition to serving as an experimental test-bed, the model facilitates a common understanding of the problem by the many stakeholders involved in countering counterfeits.


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