CISCO Counterfeit Indicators

The ASCDI is sharing this information on counterfeit product in an effort to shut down the trafficing in these fraudulent products.  We encourage our members to share as much information as they can about counterfeit product. This information has NOT been provided by CISCO.

Stolen CISCO Equipment  |  Fake Parts  |  Fake Packaging  |  Counterfeit Indicators  |  August 2011 CISCO Counterfeit Indicators








  1. Cisco serial number label is typically a light shade of yellowish-orange. Counterfeit is dark orange. Sometimes counterfeit serial number font is very obvious. Counterfeit serial number characters are tightly grouped together. One can often rubs off the serial on counterfeit gears. The barcode is short in length and in sequential.
  2. On WAN interface cards, the text on the faceplate is bolder and spaced to fit close to the end of the metal but counterfeits text print next to the end or even off the edge.
  3. On WAN interface cards, the loop-back button is different. Counterfeit have bright red components whereas real Cisco have dull color
  4. On the blades, counterfeit uses different types of LEDs. If examine carefully, some LEDs will be larger than other on the board. Each LED serves a different purpose and may be designed to perform differently; hence the reason for the differences between LED. On real Cisco, all the LED are the same size.
  5. On port adapters, counterfeit typically have the faceplate skew. Looking at where the LEDs holes are, counterfeit items will have part of the metal expose in the path of the LED window.
  6. Cisco’s metal plane is firm and steady. Counterfeit can easily bend and flex.
  7. The solder points on Cisco boards are typically covered by nickel-zinc, Counterfeit will have the copper points still expose.
  8. Cisco will have the word “Stewart” inside the RJ-45 connector. Counterfeit will have “GLG” inside the RJ-45. This is not 100% proof.
  9. Cisco SFP modules come with three stickers. One of the stickers has the part number. On the clips there will be a color plastic indicator. Each type of SFP has its own color. When you testing the SFP one can issue the command “show inventory raw” and it will display technical information which will match the item’s specification listed by Cisco.
  10. Cisco 10GB cards have been programmed with Cisco’s microcode. When test w/ counterfeit xenpak, it will give an error message.
  11. We have run across counterfeit gears mainly w/ WIC, VWIC and some low end NPE and PA card and often in large quantity.

August 2011 CISCO Counterfeit Indicators

  1. The printing on the G-BIC brings a red flag –The CISCO label on the G-BIC is to bold
  2. The label on the G-BIC is not straight
  3. They have a clear bag with a static sticker package for the G-BIC…..All the ones in stock have the pink static bag with no static sticker.
  4. The leads don’t look right
  5. The white documentation is different
  6. The connectors are brown color not a gold color
  7. CISCO HOLOGRAM for newer G-GIC’s turns from Gold to Green
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