Investigation highlights the dangers of using counterfeit Cisco switches


An investigation, which concluded that counterfeit network switches were designed to bypass processes that authenticate system components, illustrates the security challenges posed by counterfeit hardware.

Counterfeit Cisco Catalyst 2960-X series switches

F-Secure Consulting’s Hardware Security team investigated two different counterfeit versions of Cisco Catalyst 2960-X series switches. The counterfeits were discovered by an IT company after a software update stopped them from working, which is a common reaction of forged/modified hardware to new software. At the company’s request, researchers performed a thorough analysis of the counterfeits to determine the security implications.