Searching for the “Kill Switch”

Ed.’s note: Was it Donald Trump’s job (his handlers) to instigate a “trade war” between America and China which would cripple America’s microprocessor manufacturing industry in order to allow China to come to dominate the microprocessor chip industry as well as Israel? Read the second article and especially this sentence: “Pentagon’s realization that it no longer controls who manufactures the components that go into its increasingly complex systems” in the second IEEE Spectrum article. Not all microprocessor chips are inspected for capability. That would be an impossible task. America is massively backdoored, ladies and gentlemen. Readers would be advised to ignore the NSA warning about a “flaw” in Windows unless the NSA knows something about Israel we don’t.

NSA warns about bad Windows flaw

News update for June 7, 2019: A tech war is looming. Excellent, bring it on. America needs to go hard and aggressive. No more technology transfers to Israel and China. Shut it down.

Putin warns US attempt to push Huawei from global market is first sign of looming tech war

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Source: IEEE Spectrum

U.S.-China Trade War Portends Painful Times for U.S. Semiconductor Industry

Semiconductor industry mavens in the United States anticipate damage from U.S.-China trade policy and call for a national strategy for semiconductor manufacturing

 By Tekla S. Perry | June 5, 2019

“There is going to be a lot of pain for the semiconductor industry before it normalizes,” says Dan Hutcheson.

“It’s a mess, and it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better,” says David French.

“If we aren’t going to sell them chips, it is not going to take them long [to catch up to us]; it is going to hurt us,” says Mar Hershenson.

French, Hutcheson, and Hershenson, along with Ann Kim and Pete Rodriguez, were discussing the U.S.-China trade war that escalated last month when the United States placed communications behemoth Huawei on a trade blacklist. All five are semiconductor industry veterans and investors: French is currently chairman of Silicon Power Technology; Hutcheson is CEO of VLSI Research; Hershenson is managing partner of Pear Ventures, Kim is managing director of Silicon Valley Bank’s Frontier Technology Group, and Rodriguez is CEO of startup incubator Silicon Catalyst. The five took the stage at Silicon Catalyst’s second industry forum, held in Santa Clara, Calif., last week to discuss several aspects of the trade war:

Effects on China
IP theft
Immigration policy
A call for a national strategy
Missing investment dollars

Effects on China

Tight trade policies, these semiconductor industry veterans expect, will hurt the U.S. industry more than China. “The consumption of semiconductors in China is 40 to 50 percent” of the world supply, said French. “And that number is going to go up whether we sell to them or not.”

Please go to IEEE Spectrum to read the entire article.

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Source: IEEE Spectrum

The Hunt for the Kill Switch

Are chip makers building electronic trapdoors in key military hardware? The Pentagon is making its biggest effort yet to find out

By Sally Adee | 1 May 2008

Last September, Israeli jets bombed a suspected nuclear installation in northeastern Syria. Among the many mysteries still surrounding that strike was the failure of a Syrian radar—supposedly state-of-the-art—to warn the Syrian military of the incoming assault. It wasn’t long before military and technology bloggers concluded that this was an incident of electronic warfare—and not just any kind.

Post after post speculated that the commercial off-the-shelf microprocessors in the Syrian radar might have been purposely fabricated with a hidden “backdoor” inside. By sending a preprogrammed code to those chips, an unknown antagonist had disrupted the chips’ function and temporarily blocked the radar.

That same basic scenario is cropping up more frequently lately, and not just in the Middle East, where conspiracy theories abound. According to a U.S. defense contractor who spoke on condition of anonymity, a “European chip maker” recently built into its microprocessors a kill switch that could be accessed remotely. French defense contractors have used the chips in military equipment, the contractor told IEEE Spectrum. If in the future the equipment fell into hostile hands, “the French wanted a way to disable that circuit,” he said. Spectrum could not confirm this account independently, but spirited discussion about it among researchers and another defense contractor last summer at a military research conference reveals a lot about the fever dreams plaguing the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Feeding those dreams is the Pentagon’s realization that it no longer controls who manufactures the components that go into its increasingly complex systems. A single plane like the DOD’s next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, can contain an “insane number” of chips, says one semiconductor expert familiar with that aircraft’s design. Estimates from other sources put the total at several hundred to more than a thousand. And tracing a part back to its source is not always straightforward. The dwindling of domestic chip and electronics manufacturing in the United States, combined with the phenomenal growth of suppliers in countries like China, has only deepened the U.S. military’s concern.

Recognizing this enormous vulnerability, the DOD recently launched its most ambitious program yet to verify the integrity of the electronics that will underpin future additions to its arsenal. In December, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s R&D wing, released details about a three-year initiative it calls the Trust in Integrated Circuits program. The findings from the program could give the military—and defense contractors who make sensitive microelectronics like the weapons systems for the F-35—a guaranteed method of determining whether their chips have been compromised. In January, the Trust program started its prequalifying rounds by sending to three contractors four identical versions of a chip that contained unspecified malicious circuitry. The teams have until the end of this month to ferret out as many of the devious insertions as they can.

Please go to IEEE Spectrum to read the entire article.

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