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A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics..

A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and, slick as it is, it is more likely to wind up counterfeited than prevent counterfeiting

It is a program devised by a secretive government agency. Its purpose is to organize and motivate the top actors in their fields to come together to prevent crimes that threaten not only the economy but our national security. It focuses its attention on producing cutting-edge technologies. It is SHIELD, and it is becoming a reality.

No . . . no . . . not that SHIELD. That’s Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and, slick as it is, it is more likely to wind up counterfeited than prevent counterfeiting. We’re talking about the Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense program being initiated by DARPA, and rather than placing a series of gigantic floating gun platforms in the upper atmosphere, it’s looking to place tiny 100 micron by 100 micron authentication dielets on all the electronic components used in Department of Defense programs.

According to DARPA Program Manager Kerry Bernstein,

“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 highly advanced piece of hardware that will offer an on-demand authentication method never before available to the supply chain.”

If there were any lingering doubt as to the critical supply chain problem still posed by counterfeit components, DARPA is burning that doubt away with SHIELD.

At GDCA we are delighted to see action being taken to protect the future supply chain from the ongoing risks of counterfeit components. Now, however, something like SHIELD is still an undeveloped and “point forward” solution.

Until then, it is crucial that the supply chain continue to collaborate on best practices and the sourcing of quality components. When obsolescence is part of the problem, there’s still no better defense strategy than limiting your risk with a proactive approach to legacy management.

 

The GDCA Team

 

* Marvel SHIELD is copyright Marvel Comics and is no way affiliated with GDCA or DARPA’s SHIELD program.


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