Saturday, May 17, 2008

China Counterfeits Cisco

China has managed to copy and counterfeit just about everything under the sun. Now the FBI says they have made knock-offs of Cisco Systems routers, switches, gigabit interface converters and WAN interface cards. The G-men have intercepted 400 fakes worth $76 million.

The Chinese may be using the equipment to penetrate public and private sector networks. "Among the purchasers of the fake equipment were the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center, U.S. Naval Undersea Warfare Center, U.S. Air Base at Spangdahelm, Germany, the Bonneville Power Administration, General Services Administration, and the defense contractor Raytheon, which makes key missile and weapons systems."

The FBI report concedes the motives of the Chinese could have been simple profit because the counterfeit operation possibly extends to PCs, printers, and other IT equipment.

I sure hope so. I have a personal connection to this story. The co-inventor of the router and co-founder of Cisco Systems, Sandy Lerner, is a friend of mine from high school. She and her then boyfriend, Len Bosack, invented the router (at least, they got the credit) so they could e-mail one another across the Stanford campus.

I met Len at a high school class reunion. He got a big kick out of pretending he was the classmate no one remembered. I made the biggest mistake of my life that night. Leonard asked if I would like to invest in the new computer device, all they needed was $500. I said no thanks. That was in 1982, and two years later, they started Cisco Systems. DOH!

Anyway, Sandy was just a kid when she became an anti-war nut and that continues today. From her Virginia organic farm, she oversees many peaceful, academic, and animal rescue causes - she rescues mules. She would probably not be happy to know that her co-invention is being used for possibly nefarious purposes. I know I'm not.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


dcat said...

Secrets are hard to keep. I bet some of the parts were even made in China.

I believe we are doing the same thing to them. I’m sure of it!

OT: I was at Bill Gates for a party back in 82 or 83 can't remember. All I remember is a week later his picture on the cover of Time mag.

Anyway he showed up at 11:30 to his own home for the party was already going on. He and Balmer went up to the computer room and I followed. I was impressed!

I was able to recognize the drive those guys had back when. So when I saw Microsoft open to the public in the market. Yeah I bought!

Glad I did :)

Indigo Red said...

I'm sure we are doing similar, though it's hard to believe we would be copying Chinese technology. It's possible.

Purchase of Microoft was a good move. You came to the fork in the road and you took it.

I didn't recognize the future when it was staring me in the face. This was 2 yrs before Cisco even existed. I could have been not an investor, but a financier. Oh, the humanity.