Many private businesses struggle to keep counterfeit electronic parts from ending up in their equipment. Even the U.S. military is susceptible. To combat this threat, the Pentagon has started implementing a new tactic -- marking microelectronics with DNA. Businessweek reports.
“The global supply chain has resulted in significant efficiencies, but it has also created vulnerabilities to counterfeiters,” explains Defense Logistics Agency spokeswoman Michelle McCaskill. “Counterfeit microcircuits put at risk weapon systems and personnel safety.”
These microcircuits are used in everything from aircraft to medical equipment.
Now, the U.S. military has started requiring suppliers to mark microcircuits with a patented plant-based DNA, called SigNature DNA. These forensic markers are manufactured by New York-based Applied DNA Sciences.
The Pentagon began the new anti-counterfeiting strategy last November. So far, it’s contracted with 18 suppliers to provide microcircuits marked with custom SigNature DNA, and it’s reimbursing them for the extra costs due to the verification markers.
Applied DNA’s genetic markers have been around since 2008:
[Defense Logistics Agency via Businessweek]
Image: Applied DNA Sciences
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