The growing threat of counterfeit and cyber components

by David Fradis

Cyberspace has made the world interconnected. Although this has significant advantages, it creates an opening for electronic attacks. Attackers are exploiting any vulnerability that they can find to threaten, steal, disrupt, or destroy information and services. There are many cyber vulnerabilities, but one that goes overlooked is the manufacturing and supply chain process of hardware. The growing globalized marketplace currently has very few, if any, security measures in place to protect against the counterfeiting of electronic hardware or the insertion of cyber components to infiltrate systems. This creates a significant problem for the market.

One of the gravest issues relates to the installation of “back-doors” in electronic hardware. The potential for “back-doors” being built into cyber components is a reality that puts entire systems at risk. Once these modifications or back-doors have been built into the hardware, they can be nearly impossible to detect, especially in the testing process. The miniaturization and complexity of electronics has made it nearly impossible to detect whether a part of a chip has been tampered with, built in, or compromised.

This counterfeit threat is a growing problem for businesses, costing millions of dollars a year in lost time, labor, and failed equipment. Over the past decade, there have been several cases in which U.S. law enforcement has seized millions of dollars in counterfeit parts and prevented their sale in sting operations. A Senate report from 2012 found “1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics parts involving over one million suspected parts.” Counterfeit parts have been found in aircraft made by Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to name a few. In 2018, the security nightmare came true when Bloomberg reported that Supermicro had been infiltrated by malicious cyber components that introduced a hardware back-door to the company’s server boards. These boards were installed in multiple high-profile locations including Amazon, CIA, the Navy, and more.

Unfortunately, the numbers continue to grow: there are significant examples of counterfeit and cyber-attack incidents that go unreported and even more cases that haven’t yet been identified. One can only imagine what effect an inserted cyber component may have on autonomous vehicles, military equipment or IoT devices.

The testing process can move beyond simply checking that electronic hardware is functioning as intended. Testing should act preventatively by verifying that every component assembled is 100% authentic, without being altered or tampered with. State of the art big-data technology can be used to learn and identify authentic and inauthentic components before they enter production.

Cybord delivers affordable, fully automated, AI, multi-physics, high throughput, 100% non-destructive component inspection and authentication. The system scans every component without removing them from their original packaging. It then uploads and processes the component using comprehensive AI-based, Big-Data algorithms, ensuring the security your product needs.

Software cyber security gets most of the attention, but “Zero-Trust” goes all the way to the hardware, where systems can be the most vulnerable.

About Cybord

We started with a real pain.

Cybord was founded by Dr. Eyal Weiss, after he experienced a crisis due to counterfeit electronic components in a military-grade project that took 12 years to develop and deploy. It took his team months to trace the problem down to a  3 cent passive component. Eyal was not the only one: It is estimated that 5 to 10 percent of all components on the market are counterfeit, resulting in poor reliability and exposure to cyber attacks. It is estimated that the leading reason for product returns are caused by counterfeit components. Cybord detects counterfeit electronic components, helping electronics companies assure that each and every assembled component is 100% genuine and untampered. We achieve this by our patented deep visual inspection technology.

Our Team

Dr. Eyal Weiss Founder and CTO

An expert in technology development with over 20 years of experience in successful multidisciplinary research and development management. Eyal was the R&D department manager at the Soreq Nuclear Research Center, where he managed large projects involving over 25 experts before starting Cybord. Eyal is a specialist in entrepreneurship, from concept to product, and has won two Israel Security prizes.

 

Zeev Efrat
CEO

With a strong passion to help technology start-ups become profitable businesses, Zeev Efrat is an experienced CEO with a background in business development and disruptive technologies. Zeev founded and managed Frost & Sullivan’s Israel venture, launched and managed several start-ups in IoT technologies, and served as a board member for various electronic companies.  

Dr. David Almagor
Executive Chairman

Senior corporate executive, serial entrepreneur and angel investor with over 35 years of experience in deep technology. David founded a number of start-ups with three successful exits. In addition to being Executive Chairman at Cybord, David teaches entrepreneurship at Afeka Tel-Aviv College of Engineering and is passionate about mentoring young entrepreneurs.

Uri Elhav
VP Marketing

Marrying business and technology for over 20 years, Uri Elhav is an expert in growing start-ups from idea to solution and leading business campaigns alongside software development. Uri’s passion and focus is on commercialization of enterprise software, money markets and electronic commerce.  

 

Maor Conforti
VP R&D

In addition to being an expert in R&D, product management and AI research, Maor Conforti is also a veteran of several successful software start-ups, two of which went through successful IPOs. Maor has been developing software from a young age and today he is a specialist in building and leading effective software engineering teams. 

Advisory

 

Roni Einav
Advisor

A pioneer of Israel’s high-tech industry, Roni Einav wrote Israeli history in 1999 with the sale of his company New Dimension Software for $675M. Since then, Roni was actively involved in various technology start-ups and founded companies such as Jacada, White Source, and Eurekify. Roni is a frequent speaker at forums on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to automation. 

 

Danny Biran
Advisor

A high-tech executive with over 30 years of international management experience. Danny Biran holds an executive MBA and is an expert in business, strategy, and innovation with a deep understanding of the semiconductor and software sectors. Danny is an active advisory board member for various high-growth potential start-ups in Israel, including Cybord. 

 

 

Gil Feingold
Advisor

Executive officer with vast management experience in operations, quality, engineering and supply chain in startups and multinational high tech companies such as Motorola Communication, Ceragon Networks, Attenti (acquired by 3M), Anobit (acquired by Apple), and Kramer Electronics. 

Deddy Lavid
Advisor

A leader in R&D, engineering, AI and entrepreneurship, Deddy Lavid is an experienced software manager and senior machine learning architect. Deddy founded two software companies from the ground up and sold one (Presenso). Today, Deddy manages five global software development centres of excellence as the Director of AI & Software at SKF. 

Our passion is in making the world safer through assuring all electronic products are built using genuine components, increasing their quality, and providing customers and consumers with the security they deserve.