Last year, the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in everything from missiles to transponders and all of them turned out to be counterfeits from China.Just because we're not actually shooting at someone, doesn't make us friends. There's a good reason to keep certain critical manufacturing capabilities alive in the US.
Wired reports the chips weren't only low-quality fakes, they had been made with a "back-door" and could have been remotely shut down at any time.
If left undiscovered the result could have rendered useless U.S. missiles and killed the signal from aircraft that tells everyone whether it's friend or foe.
But instead, we'll probably look at buying safer cheap foreign chips...
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) is now looking for ways to check the chips to make sure they haven't been hacked in the production process.
Expect to see a whole lot more funding directed to this goal. Or, considering IARPA is the research and development section of the intelligence community -- expect the money to be spent -- don't expect to see where.