Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University

Futuristic high technology chip, surrounded by capacitors, microcircuitry & quartz.
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November 6, 2013 - CISAC In the News

Securing the electronics supply chain from the threat of malware

CISAC affiliate John Villasenor argues in this paper that the supply chain in the manufacture of electronic chips, which are critical to defense systems and our national infrastructure, is woefully unprotected against the threat of malware.

The chips could be intentionally compromised during the design process, he says, even before they are manufactured. This would have a devastating impact on our defense systems and national infrastructure of power grids, finance, communications and transportation systems.

"Too often we wait for catastrophe to spur change," Villasenor writes. "But given the critical role of chips in nearly every defense system, there are good reasons to be proactive as opposed to purely reactive with respect to hardware cybersecurity.”

Villasenor is a professor of electrical engineering and public policy at UCLA and nonresident senior fellow in governance studies at the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings.


Topics: Cybersecurity | Science and Technology