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Massive backdoors uncovered in Korean-supplied circuitry

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5/28/2021

It's no secret to anyone in the integrated circuitry community that Korea is the big kid on
the block when it comes to the design, fabrication and supply of microchips. They have the
most talented and innovative people and have made massive strides in the areas of
fabrication and power consumption. In an age where every amp is at a premium, consumers
flock towards the cheapest chips with the leanest power consumption profiles, and one
surprising consumer is the US military.

Considering the massive popularity of the chips, why is it that every Korean-made
microchip that we could get our hands on has a massive backdoor exploit just waiting to be
activated? We found a simple system of 20 logic gates (out of more than a million) that
allow any user to easily deactivate the system in the core processor. This system was
present in a military two-way radio as well as a rack-mounted communications hub
originally supplied to America Telecom. The representative at Pyongyang Industrial
Circuitry informed us that all chips are made to the specification of the client; every part of
the chip comes from a requested design. Representatives from American Telecom and the
Defense Department were unavailable for comment. However, until we get confirmation that
this highly unorthodox system was part of the submitted design, we remain both skeptical
and cautious of Korean microchips.

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