back to article Two accused of selling counterfeit Cisco kit

Two US brothers have been charged with various crimes after they allegedly sold counterfeit Cisco equipment to several government agencies including the FBI, the Federal Aviation Authority and the Marine Corps. Other agencies which fell for the scam included the US Air Force, Department of Energy and various federal prisons. …


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  1. Mickey Porkpies
    Black Helicopters

    Government Intelligence

    "According to court papers, federal agents investigating the men were tipped off by a seller of the counterfeit goods in China." what they couldn't tell the kit was fake?

  2. Dan P
    Black Helicopters


    There's a saying oft quoted on the TV show Hustle: "You can't con and honest man". I'm guessing that the Cisco kit was offered at knocked down prices or I doubt the government agencies involved would've gone for it, preferring suppliers with well established names. So it's pretty much the agencies' own faults for not wanting to pay market price for the goods. I hope they lost millions and learn their lesson. I also hope that these routers etc aren't currently sat aboard warships, in missile control centres etc

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is what happens when you simply go with the lowest bidder for a contract.

  4. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Is it then pukka?

    "what they couldn't tell the kit was fake?"

  5. Uwe Dippel

    Read Error

    Did anybody else read this like myself, at first glance: "Charges brought against the two Redmond brothers include conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods" ?

  6. peter
    Thumb Up


    Why doesn't China use this for spying using backdoors in the kit, most cicso stuff is going to be connected to the internet directly so could wrap up some of that FBI traffic and send it on, or just open up routes to the internal network and hide the traffic from logging.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fake kit is really hard to spot

    Most of it works fine too - indeed it's entirely likely that designs and spec's and what not have been sold by the factories in China that are making real Cisco kit. Not unlike the problem with fake golf clubs - the same or neighboring factories making the stuff, almost indistinguishable product.

    I think Cisco have brought this on themselves by making the margins so high on these small WIC / VIC cards, like handbags or golf clubs, anytime your selling $5 of product for $300+ counterfeiters are coming to the party.

    I own Cisco stock, and I still think their prices are way too high - great in the short to medium term, but in the long run customers will run away to cheaper products - 10 gig Ethernet is the prime example - Cisco are 4 X the cost of everyone else in the market.

  8. Alan Penzotti

    Cisco has no real way to distinguish counterfeits themselves

    I recently bough a new router with some WICs. Using the advice on Cisco's site to identify counterfeits, I nearly rejected the genuine article as counterfeit. (Cartons made in Mexico with a high recycled content, no hologram stickers as per their marketing, made in China with components from...)

  9. Anon999
    Thumb Down

    Fake golf clubs are easy to spot

    I read article from local technology mag (a one with long reputation of accuracy).

    They went to china and bought fake clubs from 3 different stores. Then they tested them both in lab and blind tests with golf pros.

    Needless to say that the fake clubs performed abysmally, the pros could detect the difference with first swing. And when you saw the lab photos you did not wonder why.

    The fake with was really shoddily built and had completely wrong construction when compared to club it was supposed to imitate.

    Probably same thing with that fake kit, they probably has Cisco OS, but HW quality will probably show both in durability and ability to handle high loads and heat.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course you could tell, they were fakes.

    They went and bought clubs that were fakes that they knew were fakes. Of course they don't work as well as the real thing, they're just made to look like the real thing. And for many people, that's fine, as long as the knock-off looks good enough to fool their friends, it doesn't matter how well it actually performs.

    On the other hand, you have counterfeiters who actually produce the real thing; they bribe guards, employees, suppliers, and run a 2nd or 3rd shift in the middle of the night to produce products. These are very difficult to identify. If they're 99% reliable as the original, would people notice? Would it matter? As long as they don't get too greedy, they can produce quality counterfeits and still make money.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think the damn law got in the way...

    Most government contracts in the US, to battle inflated contracts for friendly contractors, are sent to the lowest bidder by law.

    This doesn't dismiss the government for being knuckleheads, with a contract that large you better have Cisco on board for training at the very least.

    I like Cisco stuff, but it doesn't last long enough. My entire Fortune 15 company just switched to HP Curves. Nice products, but they have a few bugs to work out.

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