The fake industry has targeted microchips

The fake industry has targeted microchips

Counterfeit goods sold in Europe are worth 119 billion euros, nearly 6% of all imports. Clothing and electronic products are the hottest fakes on the market. The United States (39% of counterfeits), France (18%), Germany (16%) and Italy (9.8%) are the countries most affected by those who violate intellectual property. The data emerge from the latest strategic report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (Euipo) and the European Police Office (Europol). The study, published in March, photographs the situation between 2019 and 2020, but for the future the indication is clear: beware of counterfeit semiconductors that can contaminate global supply chains hungry for chips and that are "difficult to trace".

To flood Europe with fakes is China which collects 45% of the value of counterfeit products sold (53 billion), followed by neighboring Hong Kong (23%, 27 billion) and Turkey (19% , 22 billion). "In 2020 - it says - about 66 million items were blocked, compared to 76 million in 2019", with 2 billion euros of goods recovered from customs and agents in 2020 against 2.5 billion in the previous year. A decrease in kidnappings is only illusory: the decrease is linked to the lower trafficking caused by the months of closure due to the health crisis.

"The pandemic - said the executive director of Europol, Catherine De Bolle - has offered criminals new business opportunities for the distribution of counterfeit and non-compliant goods. At best, these products do not guarantee performance comparable to that of authentic products. At worst, they can lead to catastrophic consequences. The seizures indicate that the production of products is increasingly taking place within the Union ", given the growing import of packaging materials and semi-finished products.

The lab where Intel tries to hack its chips The company has assembled a group of researchers to analyze projects under development for flaws and vulnerabilities in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the cybercriminals Read the article This, the report reads, “clearly demonstrates the presence of illegal production plants in the Union. Manufacturing sites have been discovered in many Member States and include labs that produce counterfeit pharmaceuticals, factories that label counterfeit clothing and luxury goods, facilities for the production and repackaging of illegal pesticides and cigarettes, factories that fill genuine and counterfeit empty bottles of alcoholic beverages and clandestine factories for the repackaging of fake perfumes ".

Clothes, mobile phones and streaming: the trends of the fake Clothing is the favorite victim of those who produce counterfeit products. To put it into perspective, 60% of the 2 billion seized in 2020 is for illegal clothes and accessories sold in Europe. Immediately behind, however, there are counterfeit electronic products, especially cell phones and their accessories that are made in a substantial monopoly by China. Worldwide, analysts point out, an estimated 180 million counterfeit cell phones are sold every year, a billionaire turnover that escapes the rules of the market and taxation.

A good business window for criminals comes from the semiconductor crisis that is hitting the electronics industry: "Counterfeiters - we read - can try to exploit the growing shortage of chips by introducing counterfeit semiconductors such as diodes to the market" which would be "difficult to trace" given the complexity and the sheer scale of global supply chains. "The introduction of counterfeit components has the potential to cause major failures in critical infrastructure. Semiconductors - the analysts point out - are an integral part of the critical systems used in the health sector, transport, defense and commerce ”.

On paper, Italy has won over online piracy, but the reality is very different The latest report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office evaluates Italy as one of the countries least prone to online piracy , but admits that he did not include the monitoring of live sporting events Read the article One of the increasingly growing trends is piracy, which has become sophisticated over the years. An “almost exclusively digital” crime, strongly focused on streaming. "Sites that illegally distribute audiovisual content are hosted on servers across Europe, Asia and the Middle East," the report explains. And the pandemic, with increased demand for content, "has led to an increase in the supply of high-quality streaming devices and a variety of illicit content offers." Criminals, said Christian Archambeau, executive director of EUIPO, "have shown their ability to adapt to new opportunities. Now we must continue to support, through our close cooperation with Europol, the efforts made by law enforcement authorities in the fight against intellectual property crimes ”.

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