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Chinese Man Gets 30 Months For Fake Cisco Sales

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the hey-pancho dept.

Networking 161

alphadogg writes "A Chinese man was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a US prison this week for trafficking in counterfeit Cisco Systems gear. Yongcai Li, 33, will also have to pay the networking company nearly $800,000 in restitution after being the conduit for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of counterfeit computer hardware, the FBI said Friday. Prosecutors said he procured the fake gear in China and then sent it to co-conspirators in the US. His alleged co-conspirators have not been charged. Li was arrested by FBI agents on Jan. 9, 2009, in Las Vegas — while the annual Consumer Electronics Show was taking place there. Two years ago, the FBI claimed to have seized more than $78 million worth of counterfeit equipment in more than 400 seizures."

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Excuse me, editors? (3, Informative)

Snover (469130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056596)

2.5 years is not 30 years, it’s 30 months.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056682)

Posted by kdawson

Re:Excuse me, editors? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056720)

This is a pretty bad editing fuck-up, even by his standards.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056746)

You may be new here.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057792)

Actually, YOU must be new here.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057860)

Standards??? Really???? Oh fuck, the sarcasm meter is froze up agai

Re:Excuse me, editors? (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056750)

2.5 years is not 30 years, it’s 30 months.

I'd hate to see how long kdawson is gone when he takes his 30 minute lunch break.

Boss: it was a 30 minute break. You were gone a month!!!
kdawson: Yeah I always get small details like that mixed up. I thought you said months. Sorry.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056864)

I would imagine that Slashdot's editing standards would go up considerably as a result. Go for it Kdawson!!

Re:Excuse me, editors? (5, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056870)

Wasn't kdawson part of NASA's Mars team a while back?

Re:Excuse me, editors? (4, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057076)

Maybe 2.5 U.S. years is actually 30 metric years?

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057392)

The nation mourned today after the brutal beating to death of a good joke.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056998)

Yes, everything he says is days instead of months. Other than that he's quite fine really. Just make sure you don't say "mattress" to Mr. lambert, instead, call them "dog kennels".

</monty python>

Re:Excuse me, editors? (4, Interesting)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056768)

And with good behavior, it could be low as ~25 months.

IMHO, a tad over 2 years prison sentence is a relatively *small* risk, compared to say illicit drug sales, for huge financial rewards ... this may actually *encourage* some to get into selling counterfeit electronics.

Ron

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057222)

The summary and the article both say he:

will also have to pay the networking company nearly US$800,000 in restitution after being the conduit for hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of counterfeit computer hardware

At least in this case it sounds like he will have to pay pretty much everything back, possibly even more than he made. Doesn't sound like such a small "risk" to me.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (2, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057366)

Your making some pretty big assumptions here.

a) that they can track all goods he has sold, believe it or not most criminals don't like to make it easy to track any of their illegal goods.

b) he actually has the money to pay back, he could have hidden the funds in any number of ways to appear bankrupt or at least hide a nice portion off for himself, again he is a criminal and it doesn't take a genius to work out police may one day catch up to you therefore hide some for a rainy day.

The penalty here vs the risk involved seems very favourably balanced in the criminals favour here.

Good thing we only buy Cisko (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057492)

.. I've not heard of anybody counterfeiting them yet.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057876)

Umm, I am pretty sure that's because you don't get an $800,000 fine for selling drugs. It's strictly criminal.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (4, Funny)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056772)

1:$s/editors/monkeys/g

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057054)

1:$s/Kdawson/Cabbage/g

Re:Excuse me, editors? (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057510)

:s/1:\$/%/ ;)

P.S.: Hey, you can actually have that replacement right now:
http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/62062 [userscripts.org]
Just add the expression in there. :)

It must be those fake Cisco... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056858)

Real Cisco --- 30 years turn into 30 months.

Fake Cisco --- 30 months turn into 30 years.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056966)

What gets me is that the Slashdot title is exactly the same as the article title except for "months" being replaced with "years." It'd been more accurate if Kdawson had been lazy about it and just copy/pasted the title. I'd filter him out if it weren't like watching a car accident.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

Kleen13 (1006327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058380)

Ya, I'll watch this dog and pony show too... I thought it was just the Stoli at 1st.

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

cielom084 (1629259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056988)

2.5 years is not 30 years, it’s 30 months.

i agree to that, two and a half years is 12 months plus 12 months plus 6 months equals 30 months .... :)

Re:Excuse me, editors? (2, Funny)

OOSCARR (826638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057050)

Maybe he confused 2.5 years Jupiter = 30 years Earth

Re:Excuse me, editors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057298)

Who can I sue for the counterfit RSS feed?

ATTN: /. faggots (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057394)

The New Orleans Saints have won Super Bowl XLIV.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled open sores circle jerk.

Re:ATTN: /. faggots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057972)

Thanks! Since you're back are you a lefty or a righty?

Re:Excuse me, editors? (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058222)

It is exactly 30 Internet years.

30 or 2.5? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056602)

Well is it thirty years or two and a half?

/CF

30 *months*, not 30 years (-1, Redundant)

RLaager (200280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056610)

The title says "30 years", but it's really "30 months" according to the "two-and-a-half years" bit in both the summary and the linked article. Also, the linked article's title says "30 months".

30 months (-1, Redundant)

mbone (558574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056626)

The headline should read "30 months," as in the Network World Article (2 and 1/2 years is 30 months).

Bastards (4, Insightful)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056632)

His alleged co-conspirators have not been charged.

And why not? These guys should be getting just as much time as the other dude.

Re:Bastards (2, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056674)

Not if they rolled on him for a lighter sentence.

Re:Bastards (2, Interesting)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056680)

And why not? These guys should be getting just as much time as the other dude.

Perhaps because they cut a deal with the DA's office?

Re:Bastards (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057330)

I think you meant FBI. There is no DA. It's a federal case.

Re:Bastards (3, Interesting)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057348)

For people outside the US, this whole cutting deals and plead bargain stuff reads like, the whole system of justice is corrupt to the bone by design.

Re:Bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057716)

Many countries other than the USA practice plea bargaining, you useless troll.

Re:Bastards (1)

Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056702)

Couldn't agree more. There might be a lot more people in China ready to keep the business going, but there are not going to be that many in US. It'll be a surprise for me if they got away because of some powerful contacts.

Re:Bastards (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056710)

Because its quite hard to prove it. For all we know he was selling them as legitimate Cisco products. If someone said that they bought wholesale Cisco consumer-grade routers and you owned a small electronics shop and could sell them for $10 profit, and the person looked legitimate most people would buy them.

Re:Bastards (1)

socceroos (1374367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056778)

If you RTFA, or even the small part I quoted, the US based contacts are described as co-conspirators. If accurate, there is nothing legitimate about them.

Re:Bastards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056834)

Yes, "described as" not "proven to be". If they have sufficient evidence that they think they can win a conviction (or at least a plea bargain) then I'm sure they'll end up being charged.

Good thing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056678)

Good thing he didn't download a music album instead. He might of ended up with 3 times that fee.

Signals little for Google et. al. (5, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056688)

China has apparently decided to get stricter about dealing with counterfeits. This may signal that China is more willing to cooperate with other countries and large corporations. However, as China produces more and more of its own goods, it has a direct economic incentive to cooperate with counterfeiting issues since that will encourage reciprocal behavior in other countries. Moreover, according to TFA, the FBI and the US government in general have been trying in particular to deal with counterfeit Cisco products. So this still took lots of pressure and activity. And Cisco does a lot of business in China, so that's yet another reason China might crack down in a case like this. This thus isn't similar to a situation like that with Google that fits in with China's broader policies on censorship and how it runs its political system. It shouldn't be surprising that China will occasionally cooperate when it has a direct economic incentive and doesn't risk tainting its people with democracy or free speech.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (5, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056802)

The only reason the Chinese govt got involved was pressure from the FBI. The only reason the FBI got involved is that some of those fake Cisco routers had a modified IOS with a backdoor password. I have a suspicion that the Chinese govt was actually involved in selling the compromised counterfeit equipment.

This and many other examples, are why the security specialists highly recommend formatting any new computers or equipment and installing fresh software/firmware from a known good source.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057072)

Yea- no shit. But where do you get a computer and how do you get a computer with firmware that has open source firmware? You can't. Not completely.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (1)

sixknowspring (1740030) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057126)

True; pressure from the FBI probably had a large part behind this- either way, I hope that China will continue to cooperate with other countries in cracking down with counterfeits. China has to start cleaning up.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057318)

True; pressure from the FBI probably had a large part behind this- either way, I hope that China will continue to cooperate with other countries in cracking down with counterfeits. China has to start cleaning up.

I don't believe China is overly concerned about counterfeits. In fact, they probably view it as a benefit. As a country, instead of paying Microsoft for copies of Windows or Cisco routers, they can get virtually identical products for very cheap.

The manufacturers like Apple, Dell, Cisco, etc are not going to pull out of China any time soon so their aren't even jeopardizing their trade relations from that respect. The problem will come when China's rampant inflation and climbing workers wages no long make it profitable for US based companies to offshore production to China. Then we'll see if China doesn't exhibit an economic meltdown.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (3, Interesting)

pipedwho (1174327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058004)

There's a difference between a counterfeit and just copying something.

Counterfeiting is generally bad, because even within China, people need to know if what they're buying is legit. I'm sure even the Chinese government doesn't want to buy a piece of equipment that is an inferior copy rebadged with the name and product ID of something reputable (eg. Cisco).

Whereas, copying an item so it's identical, but just rebadging it with your own name (eg. Siskow) is only an affront to the legalities of patents and copyright. At half the price, I'm sure the Chinese would be happy to buy your Siskow product.

On the one hand you have fraud (or at best a trademark violation), on the other you have patent/copyright infringement.

Re:Signals little for Google et. al. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057518)

China does not give a rat's ass about getting strict with counterfeits. They only do what has MONEY in it for them. Follow the money trail.

What constitutes "fake" hardware? (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056760)

The question is, what counts as counterfeit hardware? Is he taking, say "genuine" Cisco hardware (as in, made in the same factory just not with the Cisco name on it) and selling it as real Cisco hardware, is he taking inferior components to make his hardware, is the hardware functional?

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056808)

And also, if it is so "fake" why is it still valued at $78 million by FBI? Shouldn't it be worthless?

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056852)

Presumably that is the price it would have been worth if it had been genuine instead of counterfeit.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057010)

Because that's how much the conterfeiter could have sold it for. Same reason drug busts are measured by "street value", not by the actual cost to procure the drugs.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056828)

Perhaps he's making copies of the cisco gear (same board design,e tc.) with some "special modifications" to allow "debugger access" to the network traffic?

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (3, Informative)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056830)

Even if the units are coming off the exact same production line (some factories, reportedly, occasionally run extra shifts for counterfeiters), some of the components used may be rejects (ie. functional, but outside of spec; think chip fabs) from the legitimate production run; units not tested as rigorously with minimal quality control.

With that said, even if the unauthorized units are exactly identical, which in the real world is unlikely to the be the case as I've explained above, in regards to the law, it's still counterfeiting.

Ron

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056844)

Hm, either way, if they could sell more -cheap- "counterfeit" stuff in the US I think that would be a good thing. Generally cheap crap works out well, though, sadly I have yet to see any counterfeit stuff for actually -cheap-.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057284)

or you could end up with a backdoor in your new shinny kisko branded router/firewall that reports it ip address to the counterfeiter who then uses the backdoor access the scan, record, and by pass your security all because you wanted to save $100.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057686)

...Or I could get the "genuine" product and end up with a backdoor to the CIA/FBI/etc. Unless you code/solder your devices yourself, you never know what exactly you could be getting.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Insightful)

Sollord (888521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058082)

Yes because it's far safer to trust a counterfeit Chinese knock off with your users personal information becuase I highly doubt the US government has any interest in using your personal info in scams that actually have an impact on credit. I mean outside of the known backdoor put in for lawful intercepts which the knock offs would have anyways I doubt buying genuine would be less safe. Unless there is some conspiracy theory nsa/fbi/cia secret backdoor I'm unaware of that the fakes some how don't have by some act of god?

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Interesting)

Zemran (3101) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058414)

If the goods where made on the company's own production line, that would be theft rather than counterfeit. The products made in that factory belongs to the company regardless of quality control or time of manufacture.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056868)

There's a lot that can go wrong with counterfeit hardware, even if it's made in the same factory. Out-of-spec components can be used in place of the high quality ones originally specified by the Cisco engineers. Cheap lead-based solder could be used with the RoHS label. Speeding up the production process can lead to shoddy workmanship. They probably aren't paying inspectors to check the assemblies. Toxic waste could be dumped in the garbage.

So not only does this make for a trouble-prone product for the customer, it also costs Cisco extra. A customer who paid for a box labeled Cisco is going to expect the same customer service as one who purchased actual legitimate Cisco hardware. They're going to send the crappy boxes in for warranty replacements on Cisco's nickel. And if the quality is sub-par they're going to be complaining about crappy Cisco hardware when it's not Cisco's fault, affecting their brand image.

In some cases the counterfeiters are fencing stolen but legitimate merchandise, but in most cases they're producing low-quality knock-offs.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (4, Interesting)

tonycheese (921278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056944)

On top of all this, this kind of story will hurt Cisco's brand image as well. Next time you go out to buy something from a small electronics store, you may decide to go with a different brand since you know for a fact that many counterfeit Cisco products have been packaged and sold as the real thing.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057094)

On top of all this, this kind of story will hurt Cisco's brand image as well. Next time you go out to buy something from a small electronics store, you may decide to go with a different brand since you know for a fact that many counterfeit Cisco products have been packaged and sold as the real thing.

If you see an actual Cisco device at a retail shop, and buy it for anything other than learning/private lab purposes... you're a moron. Cisco doesn't retail Cisco gear, they retail Linksys gear.
The only way that clown managed to make any money is idiot managers who think that buying enterprise-grade devices from back alley salesmen is a good idea.

And to be blunt, if you buy from Cisco themselves, you don't give a shit where it was made because you have a support contract, and anything that goes wrong can be RMA'd.

So the only people who will change their purchasing habits are the jerks who are already making risky purchases... which will only help Cisco's bottom line.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057174)

If you see an actual Cisco device at a retail shop, and buy it for anything other than learning/private lab purposes... you're a moron. Cisco doesn't retail Cisco gear, they retail Linksys gear.

Look again. Linksys equipment all carries the Cisco logo these days, in addition to the Linksys branding. Sure, none of it looks like Cisco routers, but counterfeits of anything could still damage Cisco's brand.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057026)

Cheap lead-based solder could be used with the RoHS label.

Just FYI, lead-based solder is superior to RoHS. Even the "cheap" stuff. When people talk about "cheap, lead-based solder" they actually mean inexpensive.

If I could find someone using actual lead solder for my circuitry, I'd buy it in a heartbeat over the RoHS. As an example, had the solder on the original XBOX 360 been lead instead of RoHS, the solder wouldn't have broken under heat stress & they'd have had fewer problems with the red rings showing up.

We use the RoHS to keep the hippies quiet(er).

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057460)

Yes, by "cheap lead-based solder" I meant inexpensive. Counterfeiters are all about reducing costs to the absolute minimum required to collect your money.

But if there's lead in a box labeled RoHS, and it's disposed of carelessly, lead is reintroduced back into the environment. It would be handled without safety precautions.

I'd rather have durable lead soldered parts than RoHS equipment, too. But if it's labeled RoHS, I would be OK tossing it in the trashcan rather than paying to drop it off at the recycling center. I'm very careful not to dispose of heavy metals in the waste stream.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (2, Interesting)

mjensen (118105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058050)

Not really the cheap you intend, but USA military often removes the RoHS solder for the old fashioned lead solder. They do this because there is a LOT of data to back up the lead solder, and lead-free solder hasn't been studied enough. Their putting trusting something they know (good and bad on lead) instead of an unknown (lead-free).

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

fishexe (168879) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057068)

There's a lot that can go wrong with counterfeit hardware, even if it's made in the same factory. Out-of-spec components can be used in place of the high quality ones originally specified by the Cisco engineers. Cheap lead-based solder could be used with the RoHS label. Speeding up the production process can lead to shoddy workmanship. They probably aren't paying inspectors to check the assemblies. Toxic waste could be dumped in the garbage.

All the things you say are true. They could also be using parts that were tested and found to be sub-spec, so you could end up buying a router that was made on the actual Cisco assembly line, but was known to be defective and supposed to be destroyed (or made up from similarly condemned components). That's just yet another thing to worry about, even for apparently identical "genuine" equipment.

I would have no problem buying, say, bootleg clothes or backpacks made in the same factory as the real deal, but electronics are a whole different ballgame.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057390)

What makes clothing special or different from electronics? Do you think clothing can't be made "sub-par"? That insulation placed in cheap knockoff down jackets can't be made from coarsely chopped chicken feathers that do nothing to keep you warm? That weak plastic connectors or zippers can't be substituted for durable connectors? That the fabric can't be cut against the weft so that it hangs at funny angles, or ravels instantly? That inadequate hems aren't used so the clothes fall apart after a wearing or two? Or cheap dyes that wash out irregularly in the first washings, and that leach enough dye to stain the rest of the clothes in the load can't be used?

In the case of sunglasses, are you willing to put up with distorted optics just to be seen wearing a pair of "Faux-kleys"?

Or more seriously, a couple years ago huge amounts of pet food were found to have had melamine additives that test positive for proteins instead of using an actual protein made from wheat glutein, causing many pets to painfully die from renal failure. And how many knock-off toys made with lead have been recalled in the past few years?

And then there's the labor used to make the counterfeits. At least with most of the bigger brands the working conditions of the labor forces are monitored (yes, in many cases it's only token monitoring, but they are slowly improving.) If a third shift is brought in to run the machines overnight, do you suppose they're overseen to make sure they get bathroom breaks or mealtimes, fair wages, or that they're not children? Are they locked in, placed at risk of death by fire?

Do you still think that counterfeits are really a bargain, and that you should give these criminals any more of your money? Or do you continue to ignore the problem and say to yourself, "It's $200 in the store vs. $20 from the guy with the blanket on the sidewalk, I'll buy from the guy, it's the same thing."

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (4, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057350)

And if the quality is sub-par they're going to be complaining about crappy Cisco hardware when it's not Cisco's fault, affecting their brand image.

All true. Do you know if Cisco is honoring warranties on the counterfeits. Surely when you call in a TAC case, they know from the serial number if it's legitimate or not.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058306)

Cheap lead-based solder could be used with the RoHS label.

Oh, so you mean the counterfeits would actually be better? lead solder isn't "cheap" in the way you mean: it does not develop "tin whiskers" like tin-based solder does. Lead solder is also a lot more resistant to fatigue and breakage due to vibration, shock, etc.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056942)

The question is, what counts as counterfeit hardware? Is he taking, say "genuine" Cisco hardware (as in, made in the same factory just not with the Cisco name on it) and selling it as real Cisco hardware, is he taking inferior components to make his hardware, is the hardware functional?

To a very large degree, it doesn't much matter whether he's using the same components as are found in the official Cisco hardware.

Even if the hardware he's selling is 100% identical to Cisco hardware, it isn't Cisco. This means that if I buy something thinking that it's Cisco, and have a problem, I'm going to call up Cisco and complain about it. And then they're going to tell me that I don't have their hardware. I'm wasting their time (and money)... And I've got a product that nobody is going to support. I won't be able to to download new software for the thing, or purchase new licenses, or anything.

One of the big reasons that we sell Cisco hardware to our clients is the technical support. I know that if we sell them a Cisco (with a support contract) and something goes wrong, we can get it fixed in a timely manner. It doesn't matter if it's a fubared config or a fried bit of hardware... I can call up Cisco, get in touch with a technician, and get the problem fixed.

If I found a great deal on Cisco hardware and sold them to my clients... Then later found out that it was counterfeit hardware and Cisco wouldn't support it... I'd be in a bit of a fix.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (5, Interesting)

lanner (107308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056970)

I have some "fake" Cisco WIC cards for the 2600 series here in a couple of routers. I'll tell you that they work just as well as regular Cisco WIC cards, and the systems you install them into can't tell the difference. These have been running reliably for years now.

Cisco is begging for a counterfeit market for their parts, because they mark up prices to insane levels.

True, it's the research, development, documentation, and support that makes their products great, but charging what they charge is just stupid.

Here's an example;

Intel 2-port 10Gig network card, $2500.00

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1352161 [cdw.com]

Same EXACT card but branded as Cisco costs over $14000.00

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?edc=1424619 [cdw.com]

Yes, these are the same cards, my company has several of the large ASA firewalls that these go into, and the Intel cards. Sit them side by side and they are identical. At most, different firmware, but I doubt it. I've never actually tried since we can't be dorking around with production equipment.

Newer Cisco routers and switches are now using licensing for features and ports, so installing non-Cisco-extortion-priced parts won't really be an issue anyway. Reference the 3750-E/3560-E switches and those new 1900/2900/3900 series routers.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (5, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057030)

So, buy the cheap parts. Selling identical, unbranded hardware isn't a crime (patent issues aside). The Cisco ones come bundled with Cisco support and all that jazz. The problem is when people sell those cheap parts, but claim they are Cisco. People buy them at a higher price because they think they're getting Cisco, and hence, Cisco support. It's that fraud which is the crime.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057264)

The problem is when people sell those cheap parts, but claim they are Cisco. People buy them at a higher price because they think they're getting Cisco, and hence, Cisco support. It's that fraud which is the crime.

And what to those parts run, Cisco IOS? It's not like they have a license.

Why would Cisco give free support on bogus S/Ns? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057408)

I haven't worked with Cisco support all that much, just a few times with some access routers, WIC cards and miscellaneous software BS. But I'm pretty sure they always wanted my serial number or SmartNet info, and to get the latter you have to supply a serial number.

Why wouldn't Cisco just reject these products because the serial numbers are wrong/bogus/nonexistent? It seems unlikely the counterfeits would have legitimate serial numbers, or if they cloned a range, ones that couldn't be flagged.

And since when does Cisco give *anything* away for free? You can often claw a latest IOS or ASA firmware image out of them if you open a warranty case within 90 days, but after that you are PAYING FOR SUPPORT BABY, as much as they can wring out of you.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (5, Informative)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057432)

So, buy the cheap parts. Selling identical, unbranded hardware isn't a crime (patent issues aside). The Cisco ones come bundled with Cisco support and all that jazz. The problem is when people sell those cheap parts, but claim they are Cisco. People buy them at a higher price because they think they're getting Cisco, and hence, Cisco support. It's that fraud which is the crime.

Anyone who has purchased Cisco hardware knows that the price does not include support.
Support is a separate line item that must be added to the purchase order.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057576)

This. This right fucking here. This is why I don't care if something hurts Cisco. They're bastards on their pricing and turning EVERYTHING in to an extra charge. Read the fine print, read the instructions twice, and keep a good hold of your wallet when you go in to buy Cisco. You are getting in to a product that will probably run you 4-5 times the already overblown up front price tag they initially show you once you get through licenses, support, etc.

I've started building linux firewalls for small to medium businesses on recycled hardware. Businesses that were seriously considering (and often buy) hugely overpriced Cisco systems that don't really deliver... well... anything for their astronomical price. It works out a helluva lot better, and they never *need* support. Once you get in to enterprise level needs, you should be dealing with Juniper and the like since they actually deliver something amazingly capable for the price. Unlike Cisco.

Why the hell is Cisco still in business, again?

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057778)

Why the hell is Cisco still in business, again?

Because most network managers, network admins, and their directors are a bunch of lazy whiners who haven't had to actually competitively bid out their hardware purchases for over 2 decades. Go ahead, I dare you, put a couple of Junipers in your all proprietary Cisco network and listen to unending howl of whining about how Junipers don't have Cisco proprietary features. Then show the network whiners the better functional abilities of the Junipers and watch religious zealots spew networking hypocrisy. Then show them how much more cost effective non-Cisco equipment is and watch the rationalizations begin. Dilbert is milk and cookies compared to networking admins, managers, and directors.

Re:What constitutes "fake" hardware? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057118)

I have some "fake" Cisco WIC cards for the 2600 series here in a couple of routers. I'll tell you that they work just as well as regular Cisco WIC cards, and the systems you install them into can't tell the difference. These have been running reliably for years now.

Cisco is begging for a counterfeit market for their parts, because they mark up prices to insane levels.

True, it's the research, development, documentation, and support that makes their products great, but charging what they charge is just stupid.

Here's an example;

Intel 2-port 10Gig network card, $2500.00

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=1352161 [cdw.com]

Same EXACT card but branded as Cisco costs over $14000.00

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?edc=1424619 [cdw.com]

Yes, these are the same cards, my company has several of the large ASA firewalls that these go into, and the Intel cards. Sit them side by side and they are identical. At most, different firmware, but I doubt it. I've never actually tried since we can't be dorking around with production equipment.

Newer Cisco routers and switches are now using licensing for features and ports, so installing non-Cisco-extortion-priced parts won't really be an issue anyway. Reference the 3750-E/3560-E switches and those new 1900/2900/3900 series routers.

I've processed enough Cisco Sales orders and man their equipment is definitely high priced. The difference between a 500 gig hd for a CIVS is mad expensive even though it's a sata drive.

hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056788)

This may explain some issues my employer's having with their "Cisco" equipment... lol Knowing them they bought it on the cheap and got screwed.

Crisco?? (1)

pinkj (521155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056898)

"You're telling me that Crisco makes delicious pie crusts AND hi-end networking equipment? Sold!"

Re:Crisco?? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#31056958)

I'm not saying that Cisco makes a greasy vegetable oil product.

But Firefox's spellchecker insists is.

Re:Crisco?? (1)

Zen Hash (1619759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057314)

"You're telling me that Crisco makes delicious pie crusts AND hi-end networking equipment? Sold!"

I've seen support requests emailed in from network admins needing assistance with their "Sysco [sysco.com] routers..."

Re:Crisco?? (1)

Zen Hash (1619759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057358)

s/routers..."/routers".../

Re:Crisco?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31058174)

I met a guy that worked as a security guard for Cisco, and he was telling me about some people that had stolen pallets out of the back of trucks, and they had no leads. In my head I'm thinking that people just made off with millions of dollars in Cisco routers and such. It was weeks later when his employment came back up and I realized he worked for Sysco, and somebody had stolen some pallets of food.

Not good for used buyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056956)

The counterfeit gear drives down the price of used gear significantly, counterfeit or not.

Since the counterfeit gear is typically made by the same factories that make the real stuff, quality isn't a big problem. Some of the lower quality Cisco counterfeits that I encouter are obvious, but still functional (like the guys that were selling obvious fake PA-GEs that still worked fine for $500 ea from San Francisco)

FAEILZORs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31056990)

thing for the those uber-asshole Culture of absuse

the fact of the matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057008)

is that this stuff is so massively overpriced that there will certainly always be a counterfeit market

i can understand a premium for the latest 10gbe switch with 800 ports and 6 cabinets connected with virtual etherfuck technology, but for the smaller stuff, accelerating the total commodization of the low end would be better served by consistent manufacturers in china working with quality open source linux and bsd implementations and open fpga designs. or by the counterfeiters.

coulda been worse... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057122)

Just think how much time he'd have gotten if they were *real* Ciscos!

Re:coulda been worse... (1)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057796)

How about explaining your comment when it is so stupid?

win win for Cisco (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057134)

Farm out production to cheap labor in a country that has little regard for IP. Cisco wins
Get FBI and US justice department to enforce and foot the bill for counterfeiting under the guise of "National security". Cisco wins

In both cases, Cisco wins and in all cases the US citizens lose. We foot the bill, lose the jobs, get Chinese made equipment in our government and pay with tax dollars to support Ciscos business decision.

Re:win win for Cisco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057450)

Yeah, let's do away with the notion of intellectual property altogether so that only Far Eastern countries, with their mix of cheap labor and technogically advanced factories, can win in the global economy.

We (the USA) will make do exporting farm goods, like the Arabs exporting oil, until climate change slowly diminishes the quality of our goods and we're left with nothing. We'll still sell Snickers (tm) bars and sue each other, that will be our GDP.

Re:win win for Cisco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057660)

I'll throw in a car analogy.
Find the cheapest guy on craigslist to fix your transmission. A few days later you find out your transmission falls apart. Would you be able to call the local police and have the FBI go undercover and investigate for you? Hell know. It would be a COMPLETE civil matter between you and the dude from craigslist. The federal government should NOT be involved in this all using our tax dollars. This is a civil matter between Cisco and the counterfeiters.

mod 04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057240)

there are only benefIts of 3eing

AWESOME FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31057636)

Blame Algor (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057706)

FTFA - In recent years, some security experts have begun to see counterfeiting as a growing threat to the nation's network infrastructure.

So let me get this straight - it's Ebay that is to blame for nations internet structure, Not Al Gore and certainly not the sysadmin that just installed a shiny bargain basement Dink switch at the NAP?

China's preferred trade partner status (2, Insightful)

Dreben (220413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31057804)

And yet China continues to be a preferred trade partner to the "free" world. What the hell does this even mean anymore? They poison our children with first lead, then cadmium laced jewellery, they hack our networks an infest them with malware/spyware, force labor upon their own children, yet they are our "friends" because we can buy their crap for cheap and sell it at Walmart.

Isn't it time to reevaluate our trade partner status with this country that is set on deceiving us with every opportunity they get?

What goes around, comes around (5, Interesting)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31058330)

About 13 years ago, the government of China contacted Cisco through its Hong Kong office and said "China has been very good to Cisco. Now it is time for Cisco to be very good to China." They forced Cisco to open factories in China, and China started a company later known as Huawei, run by some army generals. The Internet was becoming a major communications component of their country, both private and government, and they did not like the idea that their infrastructure would be made in America. Once Cisco opened their Chinese factories, someone in China began almost immediately cloning Cisco hardware. I wonder who? The clones were so close that they even had the same bugs.

Cisco seemed to put up with this for a while, since almost all of the hardware was kept within China. Then, sometime in the last ten years, I can't remember when, Huawei started selling Cisco-like hardware worldwide. At that point, Cisco sued and forced them to stop all international sales of the disputed products. Later, Huawei rewrote its router code and even licensed code from another American company.

So, what to do with all that surplus manufacturing capacity?
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