Intel: Fake network cards apparently in circulation

© Photocreo Bednarek/
German online stores might have sold counterfeits of Intel network cards, a local IT company claims. In a random sample, three out of four products were presumably fake – even though they had been ordered from reputable specialist retailers.

Counterfeits of network cards from the US semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corporation have apparently been sold in well-known German e‑commerce stores. This is currently reported by the trade magazine heise online, referring to an IT company based in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. According to the report, employees of the IT service provider die.spezi@listen ordered a total of four Intel network cards from three renowned German specialized retailers on the Internet in a random sample and even consulted the retailers in advance. However, they then identify three of the four supplied network cards as potential counterfeits.

Reporting on the test purchases, the IT service provider now wants to draw attention to the fact that well‑known German retailers might also be affected by counterfeiting – next to platforms such as Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, or Alibaba. In the meantime, Intel Germany has also been notified and the case is being reviewed by the manufacturer.

The network cards in question are Intel cards of the type I350-T4. According to reports, employees of die.spezi@listen identified one of the network cards sent to them as a possible fake on their own, with the help of an Internet forum; among others because of a flat heat sink present on the card. The product carried the logo of the original manufacturer Intel. In contrast, two other, presumably counterfeit network cards were lacking the Intel logo on the front as well as a sticker with a QR code on the back. These two cards have since been confirmed as fakes by Intel. Only after a second order was placed at one of the retailers, a network card that appeared to be genuine was delivered.

Back in 2020, Intel itself had warned against counterfeit computer processors that had been circulating e.g. on the Chinese market. In the case of network cards, counterfeit products are often fully functional at first, but could become defect rather soon, according to heise online. In case of such defects, buyers might not receive support from Intel if the product had been identified as a fake.

Sources: heise online

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