The Hidden Dangers of Chop-Shop Electronics

Counterfeit electronics components have caused problems for many companies. There are New Trends in Counterfeit Components. IEEE Spectrum magazine article The Hidden Dangers of Chop-Shop Electronics article tells now clever counterfeiters sell old components as new, threatening both military and commercial systems

Usually, it’s good to recycle electronics products. The Hidden Dangers of Chop-Shop Electronics tells that ethical recycling companies properly dispose of the toxic ingredients in discarded computers, printers, mobile phones, and other systems and harvest the precious metals they contain. In theory, with proper screening, electronics components could be safely reused in some low-cost applications, but such reuse wouldn’t usually be worth the trouble.

There’s far more economic incentive to use recycled components as replacement parts in more expensive systems with long service lifetimes. Some companies have built a business model based on pulling old parts from cast-off products and reselling them as new. Relabeled or otherwise altered parts masquerading as new can fail prematurely in critical systems.

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