NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

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frezik
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NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby frezik » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:57 pm UTC

NewEgg, generally the bestest computer hardware retailer evr, has been sending out counterfeit Intel Core i7 920 CPUs. What we know:

* The outside packaging looks real at a (very) casual glance. Can see something that looks like a fan in the back window.
* Package tends to rattle around a lot
* There's some obvious typos on the back
* The "Factory Sealed" security tape has the lettering on the box rather than the tape
* Inside packaging is badly beat up
* "Fan" is actually just a sticker on a lump of cheap injection-molded plastic. At this point, it's obvious something is very wrong.
* Instruction booklet is a bunch of blank pages with a single staple
* CPU itself has the printed lettering, but is a useless lump of metal (possibly a bad chip scrapped for its precious metals)
* NewEgg apparently received a batch of 2000 Core i7 920s in a shipment from D&H Distributor, around 200 of which were fake (around $80,000 in fair market value, probably less on the black market)
* NewEgg's form letter response was that these were "Intel Demo Units" (possibly at D&H's insistence?)
* Stealing during shipment is unlikely. There are tamperproof seals on cargo containers, and you'd have to pay a lot of people off to either fake one or sign off on its being unbroken at the destination.
* Therefore, any theft must have happened at the distributor (D&H) or before

Why bother faking the instruction booklet like that. I can see faking the fan for the outside looks so you can dump the goods before anyone notices the switch, but as soon as you open the package, it's all over. You only need to fake the outside package (they didn't even do that part right), so why put in a booklet of blank pages? Two possibilities:

1) This is one part of a fiendish plot involving hidden messages in apparently fake CPUs. It will one day become a bestselling novel and major Hollywood motion picture.
2) The criminals are idiots. They'll only get a TV miniseries.

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Endless Mike
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:16 pm UTC

If The Wire is to be believed, getting a broken cargo seal through shipment is easy since no one actually notices.

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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Skraxt » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:17 pm UTC

There is a third option, these are considerate and kind criminals who want to make sure we can resale their fake devices after we've opened the packaging.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Jesse » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:21 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:If The Wire is to be believed, getting a broken cargo seal through shipment is easy since no one actually notices.


To be fair, that was a ridiculously corrupt port.

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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Dauric » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:07 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:If The Wire is to be believed, getting a broken cargo seal through shipment is easy since no one actually notices.


To be fair, that was a ridiculously corrupt port.


Should have better firewall software.

Flippancy aside, I'd guess that somebody figured out how to impersonate an outsourced manufacturing company, contacted Newegg and probably a few other purchasing managers with a "Steal of a deal", then shipped dummy products. Then they shipped these boxes so that no-one would realize the switch had been made until the counterfeits had passed completely through the warehousing process until they were sold at the retail end of the process. Then the counterfeiters did what any con man does with lead-time: Take the money and run like hell.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Malice » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:04 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:If The Wire is to be believed, getting a broken cargo seal through shipment is easy since no one actually notices.


Actually, the corruption gets noticed when a patrol cop sees the broken seal on a container and investigates.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby kernelpanic » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

But I'm assuming that, when prompted, Newegg will give you your money back, right?

Right?
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Dibley » Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:10 am UTC

They have a pretty generous return policy, so probably.

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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby LuNatic » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:43 am UTC

kernelpanic wrote:But I'm assuming that, when prompted, Newegg will give you your money back, right?

Right?


I'm not sure about that that, but HardOCP say they are replacing all fakes with genuine parts, presumably for no extra cost.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Peter Galbavy » Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:50 am UTC

According to this post on The Reg http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2010/0 ... ntel_cpus/

---
For its part, Newegg said it was conducting its own investigation into the questionable Intel CPUs.

"Initial information we received from our supplier, IPEX, stated that they had mistakenly shipped us 'demo units'," a statement issued Monday evening read. "We have since come to discover the CPUs were counterfeit and are terminating our relationship with this supplier."

Contrary to several published reports, D&H Distributing didn't supply Newegg with any of the CPUs in question, the statement said.
---

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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:56 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:If The Wire is to be believed, getting a broken cargo seal through shipment is easy since no one actually notices.


Actually, the corruption gets noticed when a patrol cop sees the broken seal on a container and investigates.

Right. After how many shipments of hookers made it through?

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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby kernelpanic » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:24 am UTC

frezik wrote:Why bother faking the instruction booklet like that

Weight. If you pick up the box and it weighs only a few grams, you become suspicious and more likely to check. If you are handed a package with a correct weight, you don't check. Also, if the warehouse knows it's going to receive a shipment of 500 CPUs, about 1 kg each, but the combined weight is 150 kg, you WILL check.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby frezik » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:37 am UTC

kernelpanic wrote:
frezik wrote:Why bother faking the instruction booklet like that

Weight. If you pick up the box and it weighs only a few grams, you become suspicious and more likely to check. If you are handed a package with a correct weight, you don't check. Also, if the warehouse knows it's going to receive a shipment of 500 CPUs, about 1 kg each, but the combined weight is 150 kg, you WILL check.


There was a big plastic chunk in the box. The weight of the booklet was negligible, even in aggregate. We're talking about 300 boxes in a shipment of 2000.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby phillipsjk » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:46 am UTC

Maybe to fool x-ray scanners? But that theory doesn't work because an x-ray would note the lack of electronics in the "fan."

I suspect it is to "fine tune" the weight. Say the stock heatsink weighs 454 Grams, but the plastic block only weighs 440 grams. You can build the booklet up to 14 grams by adding pages.
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Re: NewEgg Counterfit CPU Bugaboo

Postby Dauric » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:03 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Maybe to fool x-ray scanners? But that theory doesn't work because an x-ray would note the lack of electronics in the "fan."

I suspect it is to "fine tune" the weight. Say the stock heatsink weighs 454 Grams, but the plastic block only weighs 440 grams. You can build the booklet up to 14 grams by adding pages.


Remember that the crates are weighed as well, trucking and shipping regulations requires a truck's weight to be logged, and road metering stations record truck weights for taxation and maintenance records. If that booklet is 14 grams, a pallet of say 10x 100 unit boxes will be off by 14KG. The weight of those booklets starts to add up quickly.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.


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