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Author Topic: Do the manchurian microchips exist?  (Read 4136 times)

Offline yor_on

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Offline LeeE

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #1 on: 25/03/2009 15:02:08 »
Pretty low.  Extremely low, in fact.

ICs are designed not to use excess silicon real-estate as this raises the cost of the chips, so if the chip foundries are adding additional circuitry to a design they'll also have to be adding additional silicon to the chip.  As well as that, the additional circuitry will need to be integrated with the original circuitry in such a way that it neither interferes it or can be detected in normal testing.  However, this would rely upon security through obscurity, which just doesn't work; although the additional circuitry might not be detected in normal use, with enough chips in circulation there will be cases where, quite possibly due to a fault, the presence of the additional circuitry will be revealed.

Then there is the complexity of the circuitry required.  While it might be possible to add a tiny bit of extra circuitry to a very simple chip, that circuitry wouldn't be able to do very much on it's own.  Something complex enough to do anything worthwhile, such as open a surreptitious comms link and provide a client for the attacking software would need to be put on a pretty complex high-level chip, not only for it to be able to work, but to conceal the amount of circuitry required.  But then you're having to deal with integrating complex circuitry with even more complex circuitry without it causing it to break not only the silicon real-estate specs by a large amount, but also it's power specs.  With increasing complexity too, there'll be an increased chance of it being detected.

That article seems to be mostly stirring up support for the idea by implication and demonisation; there's no direct evidence in there, just the accusation that if someone is doing these things, they're probably also doing those things as well, even when there's no evidence of it.  Mind you, that's how a lot of the government and media work these days.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #2 on: 28/03/2009 21:09:24 »
I like some of the comments after the article, especially this one:

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Well I hope they enjoy my empty bank accounts and wide variety of pornography.
 

Offline LeeE

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #3 on: 28/03/2009 22:19:35 »
I like some of the comments after the article, especially this one:

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Well I hope they enjoy my empty bank accounts and wide variety of pornography.
:D
 

Offline erickejah

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #4 on: 28/03/2009 23:58:58 »
 :o :o :D :D
what if it is true  ???
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #5 on: 29/03/2009 11:16:49 »
:o :o :D :D
what if it is true  ???
Then, when the US  (and UK etc) based ISPs notice the sudden surge in data being sent to China, they will pull the plug until someone agrees to pay for it.
 

Offline LeeE

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #6 on: 29/03/2009 21:07:26 »
:o :o :D :D
what if it is true  ???

What if what is true?  Are you really asking "what if something that's just about impossible is true?  Are you really worrying about something that's less likely than 1:my overdraft?
 

Offline erickejah

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #7 on: 30/03/2009 03:25:35 »
yes you are right, that is not in my priorities now.
 

Offline yor_on

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #8 on: 31/03/2009 13:15:05 »
There might be one thing to consider though. Flash memory's might be able to corrupt. If I was a Country intent on disrupting data communication at some future time, I would make the best, coolest, cheapest flash memory's available :) Then I would give them a locked 'time bomb' of code that would open itself at some preset instruction. And I would instruct the machines to 'infect' all other machines it could reach with that same 'opening commando', and so not needing any 'central' command post except for starting it off. If I owned the factorys creating those meorychips I would have a free hand deciding where I wanted to put that code too, perhaps locking most of it in the ROM part, with just some rudimentary code 'outside' in The flash-part.

Ahaa!!
A conspiracy :)
 

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Do the manchurian microchips exist?
« Reply #8 on: 31/03/2009 13:15:05 »

 

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