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Toshiba's detector sniffs out spy chips lurking in hardware

Developed with Waseda University, tool can produce results in two weeks

Spy chips can be used to take control or cause malfunction in hardware in which they are embedded.

TOKYO -- In an age when corporations and governments have become increasingly targeted by cyberattacks, Toshiba and Japan's Waseda University have teamed up to develop a system that can detect so-called spy chips, tiny intruders in servers that are barely visible to the naked eye or are even incorporated in circuitry.

Spy chips made headlines about two years ago when China allegedly planted the devices into servers, which reportedly reached 30 American companies. The tool, called HTfinder, determines if a semiconductor contains spy chips based on the makeup of the circuits.

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