Chinese Counterfeit Cisco Network Routers Targeted In North America

The results have been announced of an ongoing international enforcement initiative between the United States and Canada that targets the illegal distribution of counterfeit network hardware manufactured in China.

This ongoing initiative has resulted in more than 400 seizures of counterfeit Cisco network hardware and labels with an estimated retail value of more than US$76 million. The announcement was made by U.S. Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division; U.S. Assistant Director James Finch of the FBI's Cyber Division; Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Inspector Peter Goulet of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They are all working in conjunction with the Criminal Division's Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, U.S. Attorney's Offices across the country, and the RCMP.

The initiative targets the illegal importation and sale of counterfeit network hardware, in particular network routers, switches, network cards and modules manufactured by Cisco. By intercepting the counterfeit hardware at ports of entry and dismantling illegal supply chains in the U.S., the operation has achieved significant successes in protecting the public from the risk of network infrastructure failures associated with these counterfeits.

"Counterfeit network hardware entering the marketplace raises significant public safety concerns and must be stopped. This initiative shows that through collaboration among law enforcement agencies and prosecutors worldwide, we can achieve dramatic enforcement results and protect public safety," said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division in a press statement. "It is critically important that network administrators in both private sector and government perform due diligence in order to prevent counterfeit hardware from being installed on their networks."

The FBI named its portion of this ongoing initiative Operation Cisco Raider — an international, coordinated investigation of 15 cases involving nine FBI field offices. The FBI worked closely with law enforcement partners including ICE, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, General Services Administration, Department of the Interior, Internal Revenue Service, and the RCMP. Over the last two years, Operation Cisco Raider has resulted in 36 search warrants that identified approximately 3,500 counterfeit network components with an estimated retail value of over US$3.5 million, and has led to a total of ten convictions and US$1.7 million in restitution.

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