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New DARPA Program Targets Bootleg Components

The electronics industry has adopted a wealth of practices to foil or at least identify counterfeit components, from marking to x-raying. Now the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is calling upon engineers to solve the problem.

DARPA has published a call for proposals to develop a nearly microscopic component that could be attached to system components to help identify and combat counterfeit and suspect electronic parts.

Counterfeiter components are pervasive in the defense supply chain. Counterfeiters target both high-ticket chips and components that cost pennies. Worse, system failures associated with fake parts can lead to loss of life and failure of military missions.

In 2009 and 2010, more than 1,800 cases involving more than 1 million suspect parts were linked with known supply chain compromises, according to a May 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee report. “China is the dominant source country,” the report said; more than 70% of the suspect parts the committee tracked through the supply chain were traced back to that country.

The new DARPA Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense (SHIELD) program is calling upon engineers to develop a tool that will verify protected electronic components without disrupting or harming the system. DARPA program manager Kerry Bernstein said in a press release:

SHIELD demands a tool that costs less than a penny per unit, yet makes counterfeiting too expensive and technically difficult to do. The dielet will be designed to be robust in operation, yet fragile in the face of tampering. What SHIELD is seeking is a very advanced piece of hardware that will offer an on-demand authentication method never before available to the supply chain.

DARPA said the proposed system would need to overcome and address with 100% assurance a comprehensive list of realities that inhibit the performance of electronic components, including:

  • Recycled components that are sold as new
  • Unlicensed overproduction of authorized components
  • Test rejects and sub-standard components sold as high-quality
  • Parts marked with falsely elevated reliability or newer date of manufacture
  • Clones and copies, which may be of low quality, or may include hidden functionality
  • Components that are covertly repackaged for unauthorized applications
  • The program calls for the development of a dielet, a small (100 x 100 microns) component that “authenticates the provenance of electronics components.” The proposed component would incorporate a full encryption engine, as well as tampering sensors.

    Artist's concept of SHIELD technology.(Source: DARPA)

    Artist's concept of SHIELD technology.
    (Source: DARPA)

    The resulting component would be affixed to the components being protected and would be scanned for information. It would not maintain an electrical connection with the host component. The dielets could be scanned individually or in batches. The information would be stored and shared in a centralized server, which would send a challenge to the device to confirm that no tampering has occurred.

    DARPA plans to host a Proposers’ Day Workshop in support of the SHIELD program on Friday, March 14.

    — Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook , Editor in Chief, EBN

    This article was originally published on EBN's sister publication EE Times.

    80 comments on “New DARPA Program Targets Bootleg Components

    1. apek
      March 5, 2014

      @Hailey while I believe such an invention woule greatly benefit the semiconductor Industry, the counterfeiters are getting smarter at what they are doing. The biggest problem with Chinese counterfeiters is that Chinese government supports counterfeiting as a way of going GREEN. No matter how much technology we develop to mitigate the counterfeit electronics based on the volume of counterfeits entering US supply chain, it is best to reform US trade policies to completely eliminate the introduction of counterfeit electronics. That would not solve eliminate coutnerfeits but would also eliminate our Trade deficits. The whole talk about reshoring of jobs to US would not be possible as long as US continues its FREE TRADE policies with China.

    2. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 5, 2014

      @Apek, China is clearly a big part of this conversation and a big part of the counterfeiting problem. Part of the solution has to be with finding ways to track parts as they move through the supply chain. I've seen solutions that use laser etching, DNA marking and now this. There are lots of pros and cons to each. Everyone seems to agree though that a big part of the solution is buying parts from authorized sources–something that is hard to do for programs that last years. 

      I'm interested in hearing more of your ideas in terms of shifting relationships with China. What sort of reforms would you recommend though?

    3. apek
      March 5, 2014

      @Hailey,

                    China has no interest in US National Security. It is US corporations who should take the blame for Chinese counterfeits. If MNCs in US want to set up factories in China then they should not bring in Chinese manufactured goods into US. Let Chinese manufactured goods remain in China. That way neither would US manufacturing jobs go away but it would also solve trade deficits and restore the distorted manufacturing supply chain to its legitimacy. Besides the trade deficits and counterfeits…one more big problem US has to overcome is Balance of Payment deficits and this has been going exponentially due to US-China trade since 1990. Counterfeits are mere by-products of the unfair trade relationship between US and China. It is high time that US corporations realize that China has absolutely no interest in US National Security and protecting IP of its semiconductor business.

    4. Daniel
      March 5, 2014

      “Counterfeiter components are pervasive in the defense supply chain. Counterfeiters target both high-ticket chips and components that cost pennies. Worse, system failures associated with fake parts can lead to loss of life and failure of military missions.”

      Hailey, you are right especially with mission critical applications. More than financial lost, loss of life and mission failure is crucial.

    5. t.alex
      March 6, 2014

      Is it possible for the dielet to be extracted from somewhere and attached to  the fake component?

    6. owen
      March 6, 2014

      @t.alex, At this point it looks like they're putting a Christmas list of features together, read: anything may be possible. However, they have stated a self destruct feature that would warn of or ward off tampering is currently on it.

    7. Daniel
      March 6, 2014

      “China has no interest in US National Security. It is US corporations who should take the blame for Chinese counterfeits. If MNCs in US want to set up factories in China then they should not bring in Chinese manufactured goods into US. Let Chinese manufactured goods remain in China.”

      Apek, not only China. None of the countries have interest on neighbor's security other than business interest. If countries are not capable to make components or device internally for defence and space; they can acquire from other countries through thorough scrutiny.

    8. Daniel
      March 6, 2014

      “Is it possible for the dielet to be extracted from somewhere and attached to  the fake component?”

      Alex, no doubt that counterfeit component making companies will do all sort of mimics to avoid such dead lock situations.

    9. prabhakar_deosthali
      March 7, 2014

      I think blaming China for all  that counterfiet components coming into US Defence products is not correct.

      What is the Defence purchase department doing to filter out the counterfeits.

      US customs are known to be so strict that strip search even the well known personalities like the Presidents of the Nations just because their names sound to be associated to some religion.

      How can then such counterfeit components worth billions of dollars slip through the inspection and inward quality control channels.

      Unless there is some insider help to infiltrate, such things are not possible especially in Defence sector.

       

       

    10. SP
      March 7, 2014

      It would be fantastic to have such a technology by which counterfeit can be detected and avoided. I am sure both consumers and manufacturers would be willing to pay some extra bucks for that. Counterfeit industry is quite enormous and something proactive like this is very much needed. I think its needs more and more publicity.

    11. FLYINGSCOT
      March 7, 2014

      This is an interesting initative and could potentially be huge for the team that comes up with a small, inexpensive and robust solution.  I need to take a closer look at the DARPA request for interest.

    12. _hm
      March 8, 2014

      @Jacob: This operation of one penny will be done in China or somewhere like that. So they can also put on other parts, if desired.

       

    13. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 9, 2014

      @Apek, i agree that China has little or no interest in maintining security for the US. In terms of IT security, for example, there is no doubt that China is leading the charge in terms of malware, spyware and the rest,and often it is nation state actors, rather than individuals behind it. I think that the idea, though of leaving products manufactured in China to buyers in China, while interesting, would be difficult to implement. Companies are in business to make money–and the lower cost of manufacturing in china makes it an appealing location (at least for now, and I do think that is changing) and the US buyer, who has money adn wants to spend it, is an appealing destination. What argument would you make to encourage US organizations to walk away from that?

    14. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 9, 2014

      @t.alex, you asked: Is it possible for the dielet to be extracted from somewhere and attached to  the fake component?

      In answer, part of the requirement of this task is to include encryption technology that would, hopefully make this, impossible or at least incredibly difficult. The programming and design of the chip would have to take this into account.

    15. Daniel
      March 9, 2014

      “This operation of one penny will be done in China or somewhere like that. So they can also put on other parts, if desired.”

      -hm, we cannot blame China alone for all these counterfeit products. It's a global phenomenon and common with all countries. May be originated at Chinese industries.

    16. ahdand
      March 10, 2014

      @Jacob: Yes you have a point but if they are not producing those items there will be no issue as this. True they do need a market too but if they can ban it then the problem will get solved.  

    17. Daniel
      March 10, 2014

      “Yes you have a point but if they are not producing those items there will be no issue as this. True they do need a market too but if they can ban it then the problem will get solved.  “

      Nimanthad, counterfeit components are producing locally in all countries; in generally we are calling it as counterfeit. But technically is it counterfeit component; No, it's only another source of production.

    18. apek
      March 10, 2014

      @Hailey

      Sorry for late reply. Here is argument I make. There is something called Balance of Payments which decide the ability of a country to sustain the market value of its currency. There is also something called a Foreign Exchange (forex) reserves which decide buying power of a country's currency. When US organizations cause US to run a trade deficit which means that the exports are lower than imports then Balance of Payment deficits are generated due to printing of country's currency. Additionally, the country's currency loses its buying power because of less exports. It gets less FOREX from its trading partner and this strenghtens the currency of China and weakens the currency of US. All these problems are completely ignored in this international trade. The dangers are too high and when this bubble would burst is uncertain but it will certianly bust soon.

    19. Eldredge
      March 10, 2014

      @SP – You may be right about consumers & manufacturers being willing to pay for this technology. But I also suspect, with the government having a vested interest, if a successful technology is developed, it will be mandated for government programs as well.

    20. Ashu001
      March 11, 2014

      apek,

      Very interesting.

      But in this perspective which you share here;you are ignoring one crucial economic Fact.

      The US Dollar is the World Reserve Currency[Not the Yuan];which basically means that whenever any Country Globally has trade any Commodity/Goods/Services they usually transact in US Dollars.

      Sure The Euro,The Yen,The Pound,Gold,Silver and the The Swiss Franc also are part of this Reserve Currency Basket(which Countries globally hold as their Forex Reserves);but the US Dollar is Definitely Numero Uno.

      Which means there will always be Demand for US Dollars(as long as the Current Global Monetary System stays in place).

      In this sceanario,we Americans have no option but to run a Current Account Deficit to Grease the Wheels of Global Finance[Most Global Finance is transacted in US Dollars].

      If this Current Account Deficit ever turns positive[like it did in 2008-9];you will see most of the World in a Crushing Recession as they lack Liquidity to trade Globally.

      Are you following the Abenomics Phenomenon in Japan?

      Its ended up ensuring that Japan has the worst Current Account Deficit ever.The consequences will be terrible[Either The Government Defaults on its Debt or Japan gets snowed under terrible Hyper-Inflation because of the crash in the Value of the Yen].

      Regards

      Ashish.

       

    21. Ashu001
      March 11, 2014

      Jacob,

      Interesting Perspective!

      But my question is more related to what is the best way to Disincentivize such Counterfeit Production Globally?

      We need to make it so expensive for Counterfeiters[rather than depending on the Law to punish them];that they will just Give up and go away.

      I am not sure I have the right answer in front of me on this critical issue currently.

       

    22. apek
      March 11, 2014

      @Ashish

      You are wrong on that US dollar is soon to lose its status as world reserve currency unless it reforms its economy to restore Gold standard for its currency. You might consider reading this article http://www.electronics.ca/us-economy.html

    23. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 11, 2014

      @Jacob, I see a huge difference between counterfeit components and alternate sources of supply. Some of the differences:

      1) Real products have their own identifiers and suppliers, counterfeit components try to look like a different product

      2) Real products adhere to promises specs when tested, counterfeit products usually do not

      3) Real products ideally should be traceable through the supply chain (admittedly we are still working on this part) and counterfeit components are often murky on that score.

       

      Anyone have other differences that leap to mind?

    24. Ashu001
      March 12, 2014

      Apek,

      Don't get me wrong;I like Gold too.

      However,one can't dispute the fact that Global Liquidity Flows have moved beyond what they were before World War II or even During the Bretton Woods Era.

      That's why the US Dollar's Role is so crucial.

      That also does'nt mean other Currencies can't or won't take its Place as the Numero Uno Currency;but for whichever Currency were to become World Reserve Currency the Primary Criterion is that that Country needs to run a Current Account DEFICIT with the rest of the World to Finance Global Capital Flows.

      And also that it has to be Fully Convertible.

      The Chinese Yuan fails this Test.

      As for Gold-Well you need to reconfigure the whole Structure of Global Finance before we move away from the Current Fiat Currency Era.

      Will take either a Major Crisis again(just like 2008) or a lot of time and effort.

      Not Easy.

      Regards

      Ashish.

    25. Ashu001
      March 12, 2014

      Hailey,

      Alternative Sources of Supply usually have a reputed R&D Team in place who understands and develops original Solutions to the Problems at hand.

      Counterfeit simply rips off Designs.

       

    26. ahdand
      March 13, 2014

      @tech4people: Yes copies are just ruining the real value of the original. It always brain washes the minds of the users and they always feel negative about the originals due to the issues in the copies. 

    27. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 13, 2014

      @Apek, i understand your points. I don't see, realistically, how a multinational company could reasonably do that–especially a public company that is reporting to a board and shareholders. Those groups measure success based on reduced costs and increased sales, both at offs with a total wthdrawal from China.

    28. apek
      March 13, 2014

      @Hailey…the economic system that we have today in America is colonialization by Wall Street of Businesses. Wall St. calls all shots in economy. That is why we have such an impending economic menace. This is precisely what prompted me to write my upcoming book for a radical change in economic thinking of industry professionals and business leaders and put an end to once and for all the colonalization of businesses by Wall St. https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140312183343-11893233-sustaining-moore-s-law-the-macroeconomics-of-us-microelectronics-industry?trk=prof-post

    29. t.alex
      March 14, 2014

      Hailey, 

       

      That is a good point. I guess there would need to have some sort of cryptography with digital signature technology so it is not possible to get a product's dielet and assign to another.

    30. Ashu001
      March 17, 2014

      Nimantha,

      That's so true.

      Copies are not just ruining the value but the Whole Experience of the Original Product.

      Everytime one sees the same Product one is reminded about the Duplicates.

      Not a Good place to be(if you are a Brand Manager/Owner).

       

    31. Ashu001
      March 17, 2014

      Alex,

      Most Good Crytographic Solutions(especially if they are'nt backed by Multi-factor Authentication techniques) are not very helpful for the simple reason that they can be very easily be broken into (you can see plenty of such Tools available online).

      Multi-factor Authentication on the other hand(backed by Human Intervention) on the other hand is definitely the way to Go.

      That changes things massively and tilts things away from the Copyright Infringers.

       

    32. Daniel
      March 17, 2014

      Hailey, thanks for these differentiations. But still I would like to consider it as an alternate source of supply with a different quality.

    33. Daniel
      March 17, 2014

      “Interesting Perspective! But my question is more related to what is the best way to Disincentivize such Counterfeit Production Globally?”

      Asish, why to disincentives such products? It's another source of product with different quality; which may suit another level of customers.

    34. Ashu001
      March 17, 2014

      Jacob,

      Well If only these products are clearly labelled as coming from the Grey Channel.

      In any other case they can be very-very dangerous to the Supply-Chain .Apart from that they can also give Negative Impression about the Products to Existing Customers(if Product quality is inferior to original one).

    35. Daniel
      March 19, 2014

      “Well If only these products are clearly labelled as coming from the Grey Channel. In any other case they can be very-very dangerous to the Supply-Chain .Apart from that they can also give Negative Impression about the Products to Existing Customers (if Product quality is inferior to original one).”

      Asish, I won't think like that because customer has the right for selection based on quality and nature of application.

    36. Ashu001
      March 19, 2014

      Jacob,

      How can the Consumer decide just by Looking at a Product(especially when it comes to judging its Quality)?

      That can only come from effective Labelling of the Product.

      This is a reasonably good way to do things here.

      If you have any other suggestions I am all Ears.

       

    37. t.alex
      March 21, 2014

      tech4people, 

      I guess algorithms like hashing are pretty difficult to break, which is very common in digital signature.

    38. Ashu001
      March 21, 2014

      Alex,

      I don't think so.

      Sure having a good degree of Encryption in place(including Hashing Algos) makes your Security better than the rest but its no Guarantee to be away from the Prying Eyes of the NSA/GCHQ or Russian/Chinese Spying Agencies.

      The NSA in fact has embedded Backdoors in most Common Encryption Products(including the most Widely used ones from RSA).

      All you need to do is Google Search for them you will find the WHole lot there!

      And trust me on this ;if the Spying Agencies can break into your Encryption ;All the bad guys can & will(its just a matter of time).

      I just came across some interesting news on Linux(considered one of the most Secure OSes around).

      If Linux can be cracked anything can!

      http://www.infoworld.com/t/cringely/the-linux-security-spell-broken-238717

    39. Daniel
      March 25, 2014

      “How can the Consumer decide just by Looking at a Product(especially when it comes to judging its Quality)? That can only come from effective Labelling of the Product.  This is a reasonably good way to do things here. If you have any other suggestions I am all Ears.”

      Asish, customer in the sense equipment manufacturers, component buyers, assembling unit etc. I didn't mean about the end users.

    40. SFODA6
      March 26, 2014

      Anti-counterfeit 'fingerprints' are now made from  Silver Nanowires. Visit: http://ht.ly/uXghf . READE ADVANCED MATERIALS offers nanowires and nanoparticles.

    41. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 26, 2014

      @SFODA6, thanks for the link…that's interesting stuff, very innovative. I find myself wondering a few things:

      1) Is this something that can be used ona variety of different types of products? For the military, which is tracking a variety of types of items, this is a make or break factor.

      2) Is the pricing going to get low enough to make it reasonable? From the article: “The researchers estimate that the fingerprints could be produced at a cost of less than $1 per single pattern” That's stil pretty pricey.

      Where do you see this getting its start?

    42. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 26, 2014

      @Jacob, fair enough…and having a strong source of supply is certainly good standard practice.

    43. Daniel
      March 26, 2014

      “fair enough…and having a strong source of supply is certainly good standard practice.”

      Hailey, is it affordable for all companies. NO, only big companies can keep such standard practices. For others quality components at competitive price is important than keeping a standard vendor.

    44. Daniel
      March 26, 2014

      SFODA6, thanks for the link. Wait and see how counterfeit component manufactures are going to beat this technology.

    45. ahdand
      March 27, 2014

      @Jacob: Well there is a 50-50 chance for both because it all depends on what the price tag is and what the users really want. Do they go for quality or price is the deciding factor. 

    46. ahdand
      March 27, 2014

      @hailey: Indeed and that will make all areas more comfortable and strong too. Also the confidence levels too will be very high.    

    47. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 27, 2014

      @Jacob, you misunderstand. Any organization, large or small, can try to identify multiple quality sources of a product. Of course, resources are going to be constrained more at a smaller organization, but organizations of any size may be faced with single source situations. Not ideal.

    48. Daniel
      March 27, 2014

      “Well there is a 50-50 chance for both because it all depends on what the price tag is and what the users really want. Do they go for quality or price is the deciding factor. “

      Nimantha, there is no fifty-fifty chances for counterfeit component manufactures because they need the business. So obliviously they will beat all such technologies

    49. Daniel
      March 27, 2014

      “Any organization, large or small, can try to identify multiple quality sources of a product. Of course, resources are going to be constrained more at a smaller organization, but organizations of any size may be faced with single source situations. Not ideal.”

      Hailey, I understood and agree that depending a single vendor is not preferable. But he is able to deliver my order at a better price than competitor means, I have to rely on them.

    50. Ashu001
      March 31, 2014

      Jacob,

      There can be times when even they get fooled.

      Have you read about the Recent Incident where a C-130J Hercules Aircraft crashed killing all Crew on Board?

      They said that they are worried that it happened largely because of Counterfeit Chinese Parts.

      This clearly shows you that even OEMs are struggling with this critical issue and it can't be simply neglected.

       

    51. Ashu001
      March 31, 2014

      Jacob,

      As long as you are very happy with the Service your Vendor provides you with,I see no reason why should change anything.

      After all,as they say-Why Fix something which ain't broken?

       

    52. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      March 31, 2014

      @Jacob, thanks for pointing to this story. Here's a link to Reuters: Indian Air Force cargo plane crashes , killing all five crew

      It's a good reminder that sourcing decisions really can be life or death and that counterfeiting is more than just a monetary problem.

    53. Ashu001
      April 1, 2014

      Hailey,

      You should thank me for sharing this Story(no Jacob).

      LOL!!!

      Just Kidding!

      Yes its a most fascinating story of what can happen when we don't check and Cross-check the Quality of all our Parts/Components in the Supply-Chain.

      The Consequences can be Catastrophic!

      Another Reason to pass Sanctions against the Counterfeiters in Chief-The Chinese?

       

    54. Daniel
      April 2, 2014

      “There can be times when even they get fooled. Have you read about the Recent Incident where a C-130J Hercules Aircraft crashed killing all Crew on Board? They said that they are worried that it happened largely because of Counterfeit Chinese Parts. This clearly shows you that even OEMs are struggling with this critical issue and it can't be simply neglected.”

      Asish, after reading such statement in newspaper, I feel funny and guilty. How a defence person can make such statements, more over its their responsibility for maintenance and repair.

    55. Daniel
      April 2, 2014

      ” As long as you are very happy with the Service your Vendor provides you with,I see no reason why should change anything. After all, as they say-Why Fix something which a in't broken?”

      Asish, its not a matter of happy. In business everything is booked over profit. Better quality  at low price.

    56. Ashu001
      April 3, 2014

      Jacob,

      So are you feeling Guilty for having voted for that Fool?

      This is what happens when Someone who has Zero Interest in a Particular job is handed it only because he/she is a Loyalist Flunkie of the one who Holds Ultimate Power.

      That Clown(have you seen the way he dresses at Militiary Events???) has reduced India's esteemed Militiary to a constant Laughing Stock Globally.

       

    57. Ashu001
      April 3, 2014

      Jacob,

      Yes but what happens when the Lowest Price Does'nt result in the Best Quality?

      That's a solution which just can be ignored when one is Shopping for Suppliers(especially those with whom one has never done Business before).

      I prefer those Suppliers(especially on Key Projects);who I can trust to deliver Reliable Quality on Time with the Best Trouble-Free Service.

      Saves me an enormous Amount of Headache in the Long-Run.

    58. t.alex
      April 3, 2014

      tech4people, 

      Yes NSA and similar gangs are monitoring our activities, mainly by compromising important machines on the internet such as gateway/routers or important services like Google, Facebook, etc.  However, with things like hashing whereby the scheme is a one-way scheme, i.e. data of any size will be finally reduced to a fixed length (e.g. 256) of bits, there is no way they can get the original message. 

    59. Ashu001
      April 3, 2014

      Alex,

      That is a fair-statement to make here.

      Important Question that I had in Mind is how many Companies even Implement Hashing today?

      Just look at Adobe's mess recently and you will realize that most Companies have failed to implement this Basic Security Best Practice.

       

    60. Daniel
      April 4, 2014

      “So are you feeling Guilty for having voted for that Fool? This is what happens when Someone who has Zero Interest in a Particular job is handed it only because he/she is a Loyalist Flunkie of the one who Holds Ultimate Power. That Clown(have you seen the way he dresses at Militiary Events???) has reduced India's esteemed Militiary to a constant Laughing Stock Globally.”

      Ashish, no comments. But I heard that he is one of the good defence minister having a good track record of clean image and free from all sort of allegations, malpractices, bribes etc.

    61. Daniel
      April 4, 2014

      “Yes but what happens when the Lowest Price Does'nt result in the Best Quality? That's a solution which just can be ignored when one is Shopping for Suppliers(especially those with whom one has never done Business before). I prefer those Suppliers(especially on Key Projects);who I can trust to deliver Reliable Quality on Time with the Best Trouble-Free Service.  Saves me an enormous Amount of Headache in the Long-Run.”

      Asish, that's the reason most of the companies keep a list of preferred vendors. They can select the best one based on case to case requirements.

    62. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
      April 4, 2014

      @Tech4People, apologies for not giving credit where credit is due…Thank YOU for sharing that link.

    63. t.alex
      April 11, 2014

      tech4people, what is the recent Adobe's mess?

    64. Ashu001
      April 28, 2014

      Alex,

      It has to do with their Patching Cycles(very-very slow once a Bug /Vulnerability is Discovered) and their poor Security policies for Protecting Client data.

      Both are reasons to give Adobe increasingly the miss .

    65. Ashu001
      April 28, 2014

      Jacob,

      Sometimes its good to be a practical real world person;rather someone who is clean and Non-Corrupt but does'nt get anything done.

      I don't need to remind you of the Serial Disasters in the Navy ,Army and Air-Force that happened on this man's watch.

      Can you imagine how Low the Morale of the Defense Forces is currently?

       

       

    66. Ashu001
      April 28, 2014

      Jacob,

      In addition to having a Preferred list of Vendors I also have another policy-I like it to call it Open Competition.

      Basically I like to routinely(once every six months) play off my Preferred vendors against each other to get the best possible deals available.

      This way I constantly get to keep them on their toes and deliver the best services to me.

    67. t.alex
      May 6, 2014

      tech4people, is this related to any of their cloud-based services?

    68. Daniel
      May 7, 2014

      “In addition to having a Preferred list of Vendors I also have another policy-I like it to call it Open Competition. Basically I like to routinely(once every six months) play off my Preferred vendors against each other to get the best possible deals available. This way I constantly get to keep them on their toes and deliver the best services to me.”

      Asish, open competition is good if you have enough time for procurement.

    69. Daniel
      May 7, 2014

      “Sometimes its good to be a practical real world person; rather someone who is clean and Non-Corrupt but does'nt get anything done. I don't need to remind you of the Serial Disasters in the Navy ,Army and Air-Force that happened on this man's watch. Can you imagine how Low the Morale of the Defense Forces is currently?”

      Asish, moral side; no info but I know they are capable enough for anything.

    70. Ashu001
      May 7, 2014

      Jacob,

      When it comes to the Armed Forces I have to definitely agree but when it comes to the Good for Nothing Politcians I have to disagree here.

      We need competent people (and not just Political Flunkies) manning all our Critical Government Positions today.Hopefully,the Coming Election results next week will change things for the better.

    71. Ashu001
      May 7, 2014

      Jacob,

      Well Said!

      Yes,On most of My Projects I do get time for Procurement so I am able to play the Suppliers off each other.

      It helps to keep things very-very well organized down to the T at work and Have very supportive Colleagues as well.

    72. Ashu001
      May 7, 2014

      Alex,

      Absolutely!

      You can read up more about it here

      https://blog.kaspersky.com/10-worst-password-ideas-as-seen-in-the-adobe-hack/

      http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/7/5078560/over-150-million-breached-records-from-adobe-hack-surface-online

      It was a massive mess between November 2013-January 2014 as most Consumers struggled to change their passwords for Adobe's Cloud Services and also check the extent of Data Loss and Damage.

      I am amazed you have'nt heard of it previously!

       

    73. Daniel
      May 8, 2014

      “We need competent people (and not just Political Flunkies) manning all our Critical Government Positions today.Hopefully,the Coming Election results next week will change things for the better.”

      Asish, in democracy politicians are an essential part of the system.

    74. Daniel
      May 8, 2014

      “Yes,On most of My Projects I do get time for Procurement so I am able to play the Suppliers off each other. It helps to keep things very-very well organized down to the T at work and Have very supportive Colleagues as well.”

      Asish, that's the advantage of preferred vendors.

    75. Ashu001
      May 9, 2014

      Jacob,

      I have to disagree here.

      If you look around there are plenty of Good Politicians as well.

      Its just that people need to get better at weeding out the Good from the Bad.

       

    76. Daniel
      May 12, 2014

      “I have to disagree here.  If you look around there are plenty of Good Politicians as well. Its just that people need to get better at weeding out the Good from the Bad”

      Asish, but I prefer for preferred vendors because I don't have the time to hunt for new vendors and to negotiate with them

    77. Ashu001
      May 13, 2014

      Jacob,

      Sometimes in Life you have to show patience in solving various Problems.

      A little investment initially can save you a lot of Time&Money in the Long Run.

       

    78. Daniel
      May 15, 2014

      “Sometimes in Life you have to show patience in solving various Problems. A little investment initially can save you a lot of Time&Money in the Long Run.”

      Asish, shortlisting for prefered vendors are based on accounting all parameters. So there is no question of regrets

    79. Ashu001
      May 31, 2014

      Jacob,

      Basically you and me are saying exactly the same thing here(in Different words).

      LOL!!!

       

    80. Daniel
      June 4, 2014

      “Basically you and me are saying exactly the same thing here(in Different words).”

      Asish, may be LOL !!!!!

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