Counterfeit Cisco is everywhere!  It not so long ago that I gave you some tips on How to Avoid Purchasing Counterfeit Cisco Equipment. While the counterfeit Cisco equipment is always at the back of every IT professionals mind, it doesn’t feel as far reaching and common until you come face to face with it.

Which brings me to a few days ago…


The DNI team was processing an order for some CISCO1841 Routers with WIC-1DSU-T1-V2 cards installed. When the order hit my desk for processing, meaning recording the serial numbers, I noticed right away that something was off about one of the WIC cards. Upon further inspection, I realized that this particular WIC-1DSU-T1-V2 card has all of the tell-tale signs of a counterfeit unit, which it in fact was and was there for disposed of.

Now, these counterfeit indicators were obvious to me, because I have a trained eye. Discovering a fake Cisco unit in our inventory made me realize how important thoroughly inspecting equipment really is and that someone who does not know what to look for may not have been able to spot these indicators so easily. Which is why I believe, along with the entire DNI team, that everyone should take the time to educated themselves about imitation Cisco gear, so they can easily spot and avoid it.

To help you to begin your counterfeit Cisco training, and help you to sharpen your eye for it, let’s go over the issues that I discovered with the WIC-1DSU-T1-V2 card.

The First Thing that I noticed upon inspection of the WIC was the font on the face plate was off. Once I placed the card side by side with a genuine Cisco WIC card, my suspicions were confirmed.

Counterfeit Cisco WIC Cards
As I continued looking over the rest of the unit, I discovered a number of descrepancies. Some of which included, a missing hologram sticker, an incorrect fon on the serial number stickers as well as on the Cisco Logo and a different color on the Loop Back Connector (red instead of blue)

Counterfeit Cisco Indicators

As you can see, the counterfeit card looks very similar to the genuine Cisco WIC card. All of the parts seem to be there and everything is in its correct place. Which just proves that Cisco Counterfeiters are getting better and better at making their phony products look like the real thing. The good news is that they have not perfected it, yet, which enables us to spot check our Cisco equipment for signs of a counterfeit.

The bottom line here is that everyone needs to be spot checking their Cisco equipment. No one is impervious to crossing paths with fake Cisco gear, no matter if they are an IT Buyer, an End User, or a Reputable Cisco Reseller. There are ways to avoid purchasing counterfeit Cisco equipment, however the best way to ensure that the IT gear that you purchase is in fact genuine, is to educate yourself on how to determine if a piece of Cisco hardware is counterfeit and physically inspect the gear yourself.

Have a Piece of equipment that you think could be Counterfeit. Don’t Fret!
There are some easy to spot, physical characteristics that the most of Fake Cisco Gear has.
Want to know what they are?

Counterfeit Checklist2