It's an unfortunate fact of life that anything of value can - and probably will - be faked at some point. While exciting stories of forged multimillion-dollar paintings and violins might make the news from time to time, the far more pedestrian fact is that counterfeiting of small electronic components is an unfortunately thriving business, and one of enormous potential consequence when lives depend on complex electronic equipment operating as anticipated. It is of absolutely vital importance to major defense contractors and the companies that supply them, not to mention to the warfighters who rely on this equipment, that counterfeit components not make their way into the field under any circumstances.
In this Letter to the Editor, Lee Mathiesen of Lansdale Semiconductor comments on John McHale's column from December 2013 - "DNA marking for counterfeit parts: Problem solver or money pit?"
Counterfeit Integrated Circuits (ICs) in the military supply chain that make their way into a weapon system or the avionics of a jet fighter can cause loss of life. Government and industry spend millions of dollars every year to mitigate against counterfeit components entering their supply lines, but it's still a serious threat.