Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/1999/07/05/europe_hit_by_remarked_intel/

Europe hit by re-marked Intel chips

Crooks nicked in Hong Kong

By Mike Magee

Posted in Business, 5th July 1999 05:54 GMT

A report on NEWS.COM over the weekend suggests that the problem of re-marked CPUs in Europe this year was greater than earlier anticipated. Hong Kong local authorities seized more than £500,000 of re-marked Intel microprocessors last week. Crooks had re-marked more than 3,000 Pentium IIs to look like Pentium IIIs. The chips were intended for export to Europe. Pentium III CPUs from Intel have a unique identification number (personal serial number -- PSN) which identifies them as the real thing. And some Intel pages will not work unless the Pentium III identification number is switched on. Earlier this year, liberty groups were up-in-arms at the idea of the PSN, worried that individual users might be traced by the chip giant. But the number could be a protection against unscrupulous crooks re-marking Intel CPUs, it now emerges. ® RegisterFact015362583725395 Chipsets from the i810 (Whitney) onwards have a hardware random number generator as standard.