There are new developments in the case of the counterfeit Cisco routers, which we have been discussing
for some time. The NYTimes updates the story
after an FBI PowerPoint presentation
made its way onto the Web. It seems that experts at Cisco have examined some of the counterfeit routers in detail and proclaimed that they contain no back doors. Others don't believe we can be so sure. "Last month, [DARPA] began distributing chips with hidden Trojan horse circuitry to military contractors who are participating in the agency's Trusted Integrated Circuits program. The goal is to test forensic techniques for finding hidden electronic trap doors, which can be maddeningly elusive... The threat was demonstrated in April when a team of computer scientists from the University of Illinois presented a paper at a technical conference in San Francisco detailing how they had modified a Sun Microsystems SPARC microprocessor... The researchers were able to create a stealth system that would allow them to automatically log in to a computer and steal passwords."