Manchurian Microchip


U.S.D.A. Prime
So, the hacking incidents reported in the article -- were they traced back to the activation of rogue microchips, or were they (more likely) simply exploits of computer code, like every other hack or virus out there today?

And if the report on microchip security is classified (at what level of classification? Top secret? Semi-secret?), then also would be the "reactions" of those who had access to view the material. They don't let people with lesser security clearance hang around those with greater security clearance, so who, exactly, observed this "shockwave" of a reaction, then let the cat out of the bag to the public?

Besides... those "computer chips" that the Chinese are manufacturing were invented/perfected in the United States, let's not forget. We design the chips, then have the Chinese fabricate and assemble them. A simple comparative x-ray of a known-good chip and that of a Chinese produced chip would eliminate any question within a few hours. We have the blueprints for the design, and would be able to tell immediately if the chips were within specification or not.

The idea is cool, but just remember folks -- there are a lot of crazies running around this world of ours who have a knack for misinterpreting or blowing things out of proportion.

Just call me a buzz-kill, party-pooper, counter-conspiracy-theorist... ;)


Crotchety UI Nitpicker
The key to unlocking computer secrets through rogue microchips is uncovering (or stealing) source codes, without which such microchips would be useless. This is why Chinese espionage is so heavily focused upon the U.S. computer industry.
...Source codes?

I don't know what the hell he's talking about, and it sounds like he doesn't either. The article seems to mix issues that are entirely different but sound similar to someone with no knowledge of the subject. The quote above is talking about software, not hardware, so it's entirely irrelevant to to the primary thesis. The idea that they would "need ongoing access to new Microsoft source codes" (says the "computer forensics expert") to activate these rogue chips suggests that there are no rogue chips. If you need to hack every individual OS to access them anyway, would there really be much of a point?

He also specifically mentioned actual attacks that clearly had nothing to do with hardware.


U.S.D.A. Prime
He also specifically mentioned actual attacks that clearly had nothing to do with hardware.
My point exactly... he points to the hacking of a US Intelligence Office (or some possibly made-up bureau) and insinuates that that somehow constitutes evidence of these rogue chips... but, as far as I know, anytime we've been hacked by the Chinese, it's been through software exploits (that were exploitable by anyone else, even those without knowledge of said "rogue chips") and has nothing to do with the "activation of rogue microchips which are embedded within OTHER microchips that phoned home to the Chinese allowing them access to the computers systems they were trying to hack."

Great theory; extremely poor execution on the explanation and evidence part.


In Geostationary Orbit
Well I am allowed to tell you that this article is a complete falsehood. TSA is NOT an intelligence agency! TSA would NOT have access to a DARAPA report unless he did one of two things, made the facts up or heard a rumor he is trying to exploit.

Think about it, Apple designed their own boards and software. They will know EVERY piece of the logic board when the Mac is designed. For something like this is be true Apple would have ignore their own designs when the prototypes and first runs come back from manufacturing.

So I call shenanigans on this article NSA would be all over (not TSA) this as soon as a manufacture reported constant deviation from their designs. Besides, the chips would have to have code already imbedded in it to even be feasible. This theory sounds like a James Bond movie.