Counterfeit PCB Materials

The Counterfeit PCB Materials Project identifies and investigates two issues in the electronics industry: Safety as a function of counterfeit materials, and Trust   involving anti-counterfeit, anti-tamper, chain of custody and access control.

Project stage: 

If you are interested in participating in this project:

Members - Go to the "Subscribe Here" section to the right and select the "Subscribe to space" key.

Non Members - Go to the "Contact" section to the right and select the "Contact project facilitator" key.

Idea Information




The initial working group has identified two threats:

Safety aspect - A case was cited where solder mask failed and an electrical fire resulted. The counterfeit material was „ green, and looked normal“.
Trust aspect – Where the whole board was counterfeit, or where circuitry was added to design to accomodate malicious third party intent


There is a wealth of information on counterfeit components, but there is essentially nothing specifically for counterfeit laminates, solder mask, or any other “permanent” materials such as solders or surface finishes.

Definition Information

Goals / Benefits: 

The output of this project is a white paper assessing the validity of claims concerning potential insecure practices in the PCB Materials industry, dispelling or validating known rumors and recommending any needed changes. Recommendations may include possible surveillance schemes or techniques and third party verification of material bill of materials or chemical composition.

High level objectives: 


The Counterfeit PCB Materials Team has proposed creation of a White Paper as a fact-finding mission.

Find out if these two thrusts are a significant threat to membership/general public and to what extent the threat exists.
This will allow HDPug to bring these issues to the attention of the industry and to determine what steps to take next.