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This Tech Would Have Spotted the Secret Chinese Chip in Seconds


According to Bloomberg Businessweek, spies in China managed to insert chips into computer systems that would allow external control of those systems.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a semiautomated system that could have identified the malicious chips reportedly inserted into computer systems by the Chinese government.

Credit: University of Florida

Researchers in the University of Florida’s Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS) have developed a semiautomated system that could have identified in seconds the malicious chips reportedly inserted into computer systems by the Chinese government.

The FICS system uses optical scans, microscopy, x-ray tomography, and artificial intelligence to compare a printed circuit board and its chips and components with the intended design.

The system takes high-resolution images of the front and back of the circuit board, then machine learning algorithms go through the images, tracing the interconnects and identifying the components. X-ray tomography imagery is then applied to examine interconnects and components buried within the circuit board.

Finally, the system captures a series of two-dimensional images and automatically combines them to produce a layer-by-layer analysis that maps the interconnects and the chips and components they connect.

From IEEE Spectrum
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