EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Products => Other Equipment & Products => Topic started by: nctnico on October 21, 2014, 11:59:23 pm

Title: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 21, 2014, 11:59:23 pm
I bought some RS485 boards from Ebay with an FTDI FT232 chip on them. Appearantly the chips are fake. I used them with Linux and they work fine. After plugging them into a Windows PC with the latest drivers they quit working (even with Linux). I think the FTDI driver somehow kills the fake FTDI chip. Not nice if you got a lot of these boards in the field  :palm:
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: BradC on October 22, 2014, 02:13:35 am
Are they dead altogether (fail to enumerate on the USB bus) or have they just stopped working with the FTDI driver? I wonder if there is an eeprom or similar in there that the windows driver messes with?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 22, 2014, 03:17:05 am
The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.

Price of buying fake chips.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 03:34:36 am
The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.

Price of buying fake chips.
If that is the case you can easily bind the new VID/PID to the correct driver in Linux and it should still work:

Code: [Select]
A vid/pid pair can be added dynamically using sysfs, for example:

echo 0403 1234 >/sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id

Again, if that is the only "damage" done, lsusb should help you find the device, or just monitoring dmesg as you attach it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 22, 2014, 03:46:25 am
The new Windows driver reprograms the PID to 0.

More info here:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=270175.0 (http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=270175.0)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 03:58:22 am
Funny, the clone devices used to use counterfeit Prolific chips, and Prolific did something very similar, though not quite as nasty. The driver would just BSOD the machine constantly when used with a counterfeit chip.

I'm not sure this strategy is actually to their advantage, or frankly, even legal.

Anyway the workaround will likely still work in Linux.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Alexei.Polkhanov on October 22, 2014, 04:07:22 am
FT232 allow you to change IDs to anything you want using config tool from FTDI website. If you change IDs default FTDI driver will stop recognizing the chip - I think they warn you about it in their documentation.

What does FTDIconfig say in windows? screenshot?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 22, 2014, 04:19:44 am
FT232 allow you to change IDs to anything you want using config tool from FTDI website. If you change IDs default FTDI driver will stop recognizing the chip - I think they warn you about it in their documentation.
Read the discussion - it's not so simple.

The new Windows driver changes the PID to 0, and then the driver won't recognize the device (even if you edit the INF file), and you can't use the config tool.
The workaround is to use a Windows XP or Linux system to change the PID back, and then don't use the new driver.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 09:18:02 am
Thats awfull Nico did you have many of these fake boards?
I would take my loss remove the fake ics and replace with real ones from trustworthy dealer, they cost around €4.- , it could be worse.
I'm not sure this strategy is actually to their advantage, or frankly, even legal.
So who is going to sue them, not the manfacturer of the illegal copied devices who is the real villain in this story  ;)
If only there was a good way to tell which is fake and which not, in front. Till then no ebay buys.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Psi on October 22, 2014, 09:27:54 am
Funny, the clone devices used to use counterfeit Prolific chips, and Prolific did something very similar, though not quite as nasty. The driver would just BSOD the machine constantly when used with a counterfeit chip.

Seriously?
lol, i was wondering why i kept getting a BSOD randomly when using this prolific usb-uart adapter that came with some china RC model gear.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 09:48:25 am
Funny, the clone devices used to use counterfeit Prolific chips, and Prolific did something very similar, though not quite as nasty. The driver would just BSOD the machine constantly when used with a counterfeit chip.

Seriously?
lol, i was wondering why i kept getting a BSOD randomly when using this prolific usb-uart adapter that came with some china RC model gear.
Yep, apparently if you get an old enough driver it should work fine for you. It might be "legitimate" breakage due to missing features or something in the counterfeits, but it appears it was common after a certain driver version. Or just use Linux and they all work fine...

Edit: Some discussion here: https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/note-how-to-not-get-scammed-with-prolific-%28pl2303%29-usb-serial-adapters/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/note-how-to-not-get-scammed-with-prolific-%28pl2303%29-usb-serial-adapters/) including identifying working version numbers.

Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.
I have some in the parts bin but haven't actually tried them yet. They're implemented using the USB CDC though so should be no drivers required on most OSs and no opportunity or need to do stuff like this ;). Not sure why this isn't more widely used, but it does seem like the right way to do things to me.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 10:00:30 am
Thats awfull Nico did you have many of these fake boards?
From Ebay. http://www.ebay.nl/itm/201116513817?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 (http://www.ebay.nl/itm/201116513817?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649)  I'll provide some negative feedback.  >:D
Quote
I would take my loss remove the fake ics and replace with real ones from trustworthy dealer, they cost around €4.- , it could be worse.
I have about 12 but I also have a bunch of real FT232s lying around for another product so I just replaced the chips. Reworking the boards is easy. Looking closer at the dmesg output from Linux it seems the Windows driver has reprogrammed the Pid indeed.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 12:26:40 pm
Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.
For this purpose it would be ok i guess, might try it in the near future.
For a lot of other applications such as any I2C bridge or I/O peripheral I personally do not trust a standard PIC with software. I rather have a hardware statemachine solution for that. But thats just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 12:51:22 pm
Actively damaging a "fake" device is overkill, and possibly illegal - just refusing to work and showing a message would be more than enough.
 
IANAL but I'm not sure this statement on their website (linked from, not actually on the driver download page) would be enough to avoid legal liability
Quote
The licence only allows use of the Software with, and the Software will only work with Genuine FTDI Components (as defined in the Licence Terms). Use of the Software as a driver for a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT.

An obvious issue is that a user may well not know than a device containing a component is non-genuine, and damaging it without warning would seem to be way beyond the bounds of what is reasonable.
 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 01:13:09 pm
interesting.  a week ago, I bought some ftdi dongles from ebay and most were ok but one of them had a PID of all 0's (as seen on linux).  I reported it to ebay, the vendor contacted me and sent me 2 new ones which were ok.

I did report the first one as fake and that's what got the vendor (sunfounder) to step in.

now, was the chip tried on windows and then returned?  maybe that's what happened.  or they tried it on windows at the factory and it zero'd out the pid before they shipped it.

I did try patching the linux driver to accept 0 as the pid but was not successful (the module wouldn't load, so maybe I had the wrong kernel version and was not about to spend a lot of time tracking down the exact kernel tree for my running system).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 01:37:41 pm
Quote
The licence only allows use of the Software with, and the Software will only work with Genuine FTDI Components (as defined in the Licence Terms). Use of the Software as a driver for a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT.
An obvious issue is that a user may well not know than a device containing a component is non-genuine, and damaging it without warning would seem to be way beyond the bounds of what is reasonable.
I think I'll re-design my boards that use the FTDI FT232. What if the driver makes a mistake and renders a genuine FT232 useless? I don't want to take that chance. Like you said it would be much better if the driver just refuses to load or shows a warning. It would take unplugging/inserting to fix such a temporary hickup on a genuine device.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 02:29:53 pm
 I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith. The proper way is taking legal action against entities selling counterfeit chips.
The problem is that you can't know if a product contains counterfeit chips or not. After all you buy a black box. Secondly I really don't want to use software which has a self destruct mechanism. I'll take the FT232 out of all my designs because I don't want to be in the middle of an argument between a chip maker and counterfeiters.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 22, 2014, 02:43:52 pm
I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith. The proper way is taking legal action against entities selling counterfeit chips.
The problem is that you can't know if a product contains counterfeit chips or not. After all you buy a black box. Secondly I really don't want to use software which has a self destruct mechanism. I'll take the FT232 out of all my designs because I don't want to be in the middle of an argument between a chip maker and counterfeiters.

Fwiw, as a long time ftdi user (in my designs, and in purchased devices), I completely agree. Error message, fine. Driver doesn't load, fine. But brick the device? Not ok. It's a shame, because I really like the chips. Oh well, have to vote with your wallet I suppose. :-//

Luckily I have recently discovered the cypress fx2/3, what a brilliant idea. Cypress here I come!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 02:48:34 pm
I've never encountered one but are the chips actually counterfeit or just driver-compatible?

If the latter, then seems to me  FTDI are on very dangerous ground.   

Are these drivers going to be included in distributions of Windows etc. as previous ones have been ?
A user could upgrade Windows , not see any warnings about this, and find their hardware has been broken.

It is not a crime to own a counterfeit item. However I'd be surprised if there aren't any jurisdictions where destroying counterfeit items was illegal.

As FTDI provide no way for the user to tell if a device is genuine or not, the warning in the license agreement (even supposing anyone reads it) is probably not a good defence.
 
Maybe I own a device with a fake FTDI device inside and installed drivers back when the license conditions didn't include this warning.
I then buy a new, genuine device that needs the newer driver - will installing the newer driver kill the old device as well? 



   
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 22, 2014, 02:50:45 pm
I completely agree. If I buy a USB-to-serial cable in good faith, it's because I have a need for that functionality, not because I have any interest in what's inside the box or what IP disputes there might be between IC manufacturers over its contents.

The FTDI driver doesn't need to be compatible with chips which it identifies as possible counterfeits, but actively disabling access to them is a malicious act, and not acceptable.

This reminds me of the software that Sony shipped on music CDs some years ago, which tried to disable features on a user's CD drive in an attempt to prevent copying. That particular idiotic decision backfired, spectacularly, and quite rightly so.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 22, 2014, 02:55:24 pm
Quote
Luckily I have recently discovered the cypress fx2/3, what a brilliant idea. Cypress here I come!
The FX2/LP is not really cheaper than an FT232 and has far more functionality, but Cypress do make the cheaper CY7C65213 which is pin-compatible (http://www.cypress.com/?rID=83118) and doesn't require proprietary drivers.

An obvious issue is that a user may well not know than a device containing a component is non-genuine, and damaging it without warning would seem to be way beyond the bounds of what is reasonable.
Definitely agreed. All these extra checks are doing is providing incentive for the cloners to make their product even closer to the real one, or just provide patched drivers that bypass this "bomb" (if they're already making fakes, do you think they care at all about what your license agreement says?) Or someone else will... that is, if they haven't already.

It's not like a USB-UART bridge is super-secret new technology anyway - there's plenty of other companies making them so vote with your wallet: http://www.microchip.com/forums/m376186.aspx (http://www.microchip.com/forums/m376186.aspx)

Much better if we move to ICs that work with the standard CDC drivers - and there are plenty of them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 22, 2014, 02:56:23 pm
I've never encountered one but are the chips actually counterfeit or just driver-compatible?
Counterfeit: http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal (http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal)

Quote
Are these drivers going to be included in distributions of Windows etc. as previous ones have been ?
Yes, they pushed the killer driver out in Windows Update, which is why the issue has come up now.

Quote
I then buy a new, genuine device that needs the newer driver - will installing the newer driver kill the old device as well? 
I don't think there are any new features in the driver, so no one actually needs it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 02:59:42 pm
We recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors. Please follow this link to locate your local distributor:  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)

That's all very fine for people buying chips but in most cases people are buying devices with chips inside. How do they know?
Why don't FTDI post info on devices known to contain fake chips?

 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 03:01:59 pm
We recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors. Please follow this link to locate your local distributor:  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)

For more information please refer to FTDI`s counterfeit statement and driver license agreement.
 
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit) statement.pdf
 
http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/FTDriverLicenceTerms.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/FTDriverLicenceTerms.htm)
 
When the FTDI driver is installed you are agreeing the terms of use of FTDI`s device. Please note that FTDI`s driver licence agreement will be broken if used with counterfeit devices.
 :)

you guys could have a meltdown (public relations wise) if you don't control this new 'driver' of yours, and very quickly, too!

I used to be a big fan of ftdi.  but given your current hostility towards innocent end-users, I may have to rethink my choice of uart chips.

I also now know NEVER to accept windows updates or YOUR updates and use only the previous version of the driver, for when I have no choice but to use your chips.

if you want to go after people, go after SELLERS.  punishing USERS is borderline illegal.  if you brick a chip in a product that people depend on, I think you'll find some lawyers hungry to fight you in a class-action suit.

do you REALLY want that hassle, mr. ftdi?

you better rethink this before its too late.  we understand your position, but you have taken a hostile action toward end users and this will Not End Well(tm), mark my words.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 03:02:57 pm

Quote
Are these drivers going to be included in distributions of Windows etc. as previous ones have been ?
Yes, they pushed the killer driver out in Windows Update, which is why the issue has come up now.
And how were users warned that it might kill their stuff?
If it was buried in a ton of other legalese crap I'd imagine there would be good grounds for legal action

Quote
Quote
I then buy a new, genuine device that needs the newer driver - will installing the newer driver kill the old device as well? 
I don't think there are any new features in the driver, so no one actually needs it.
Unless the new device contains, say, a newer chip like the FT232H and my old driver pre-dated this chip.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 03:04:38 pm

if you want to go after people, go after SELLERS.  punishing USERS is borderline illegal.  if you brick a chip in a product that people depend on, I think you'll find some lawyers hungry to fight you in a class-action suit.

Especially if it affects kit necessary for a business - could be some major consequential losses involved
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 22, 2014, 03:07:23 pm
The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it sounds.

Suppose I use my iPhone to browse to, say, Samsung's web site. Would it be OK for the site to contain code that bricks my phone, just because there's some ongoing patent dispute between the two companies?

I have an urgent and important job coming up in a couple of days which will require my serial cable. It had f**king better work.

[edit]: To FTDI, you do realise that the correct response, for a user of an affected product, is to buy a replacement that doesn't even claim to contain an FTDI chip, right?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 03:10:15 pm
I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith.

Containing a stolen VID the device isn't USB standard compliant so you should not have expectations of it working in the first place. Possessors of stolen property generally have few rights regardless of their knowledge of it being stolen.

FTDI should have 'reclaimed' their VID, presumably not and option, I can't blame them for trashing the PID instead.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: bookaboo on October 22, 2014, 03:10:47 pm
We recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors. Please follow this link to locate your local distributor:  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)

For more information please refer to FTDI`s counterfeit statement and driver license agreement.
 
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit) statement.pdf
 
http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/FTDriverLicenceTerms.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/FTDriverLicenceTerms.htm)
 
When the FTDI driver is installed you are agreeing the terms of use of FTDI`s device. Please note that FTDI`s driver licence agreement will be broken if used with counterfeit devices.
 :)

Terrible behaviour by FTDI, stuff like this can cause people no end of trouble and hassle. Man up and go after the counterfeiters not consumers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 03:13:26 pm
When the FTDI driver is installed you are agreeing the terms of use of FTDI`s device. Please note that FTDI`s driver licence agreement will be broken if used with counterfeit devices.
 :)

At what point when Windows automatically installs drivers have I agreed to anything?  You explicitly changed the agreement and there is no point where I was required to agree to anything on any of the agreements.  It is interesting timing.  I am designing a product currently that is using USB to Serial.  I had your chipset in the design.  It is now gone.

I don't plan on getting counterfeit chips, but that you are actively changing chips rather than denying in the driver world, means I can't trust you.  If you have an error in your driver detection, it can't be fixed with a driver update.  I can't take that risk and have to sue FTDI, because I'm being sued by my customers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 03:17:41 pm
I recently did a windows update and saw the ftdi update.  I stupidly accepted it, but there was no notice or warning - it just updated like the millions of other nameless and opaque windows updates.  (damn, I really do hate windows; this is yet another reason to hate it).

now, on linux, we will NEVER see this kind of driver hostility.  no kernel dev worth his salt would submit a 'kill bit' patch like this.  even if he did, we could easily roll it back (at the source level); but with windows, its not quite as easy.

this is going to cost me time, now.   I should send ftdi a bill for my time - having to go thru all my windows installs and remove the bad driver and find the last good copy and lock it down.

dammit, ftdi!!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 03:18:10 pm
I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith.

Containing a stolen VID the device isn't USB standard compliant so you should not have expectations of it working in the first place. Possessors of stolen property generally have few rights regardless of their knowledge of it being stolen.

FTDI should have 'reclaimed' their VID, presumably not and option, I can't blame them for trashing the PID instead.

You can't "steal" integers.  It is not illegal to make a USB compatible interface and provide whatever ints you want.  If the device maker wants it to be a secured link, they have to make it so.  It would be illegal to use a USB logo without certification, but not illegal to make a compatible interface.

However, on the flip side, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a hobbiest or anyone else making open hardware supporting USB to get a VID.  USB group actually made it against the agreement for someone who licenses VIDs to even give them away to projects.  In other words, because the USB consortium doesn't care about USB use by non-large companies, the only option of some is to pick a PID/VID and run with it.

If serial communication is all you need, then using a chip like FTDI is an option, but that doesn't fit all uses.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 22, 2014, 03:20:35 pm
Suppose I use my iPhone to browse to, say, Samsung's web site. Would it be OK for the site to contain code that bricks my phone, just because there's some ongoing patent dispute between the two companies?

That's an excellent analogy.  If microsoft pushes these drivers they may also be liable, I wonder if they are aware of FTDI's practices.

Does windows come with CDC installed by default?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 03:20:43 pm
And how were users warned that it might kill their stuff?

It didn't kill their stuff - their stuff didn't have any drivers. Supereal Microelectronics or whoever makes this shitty clone could produce drivers and their stuff would work fine - well as fine as it can when you are using a VID belonging to someone else.

Suppose I use my iPhone to browse to, say, Samsung's web site. Would it be OK for the site to contain code that bricks my phone, just because there's some ongoing patent dispute between the two companies?

That's an excellent analogy.

It is a poor analogy. FTDI have produced a new driver version which only work with their chips. They detect chips with stolen VIDs and trash the PID so their older drivers won't work with those chips either. They haven't bricked anything the chips always were bricks. If there were some legitimate drivers for the clone chips you could argue that something has been bricked but still blame the clone for using a stolen VID which is telling the computer to use the wrong drivers.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 22, 2014, 03:26:38 pm
Does windows come with CDC installed by default?
usbser.sys, all you need is a .inf to use it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 03:27:46 pm
And how were users warned that it might kill their stuff?

It didn't kill their stuff - their stuff didn't have any drivers. Supereal Microelectronics or whoever makes this shitty clone could produce drivers and their stuff would work fine - well as fine as it can when you are using a VID belonging to someone else.
I have an old fake device that worked before, updating FTDI driver kills it in a way the stops it working even if I revert all the software. It killed my stuff.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 03:33:12 pm
One question - after it has killed your fake device, does it give any meaningful message to explain ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 03:33:22 pm
I have an old fake device that worked before, updating FTDI driver kills it in a way the stops it working even if I revert all the software. It killed my stuff.

Nope now it just needs the correct driver which never existed.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 03:33:51 pm
Suppose I use my iPhone to browse to, say, Samsung's web site. Would it be OK for the site to contain code that bricks my phone, just because there's some ongoing patent dispute between the two companies?

That's an excellent analogy.  If microsoft pushes these drivers they may also be liable, I wonder if they are aware of FTDI's practices.

Does windows come with CDC installed by default?
Unfortunately not. On Mac OS and Linux a CDC device works out of the box but on Windows you need a .inf file to tell Windows which driver to use  :palm:
One question - after it has killed your fake device, does it give any meaningful message to explain ?
No. It just doesn't work.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 03:35:53 pm
The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.

Price of buying fake chips.
If that is the case you can easily bind the new VID/PID to the correct driver in Linux and it should still work:

Code: [Select]
A vid/pid pair can be added dynamically using sysfs, for example:

echo 0403 1234 >/sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id

Again, if that is the only "damage" done, lsusb should help you find the device, or just monitoring dmesg as you attach it.

this did not work for me, I just tried it.  1234 should be 6001, of course (for people who will just mouse it in..)

one of my chips JUST got bricked.  FUCK FTDI!  dammit, you guys now suck so badly.  what was once a functional board is now dead unless I can re-rewrite the pid.

even when I uninstalled the windows driver, the pid still got zeroed out.


if there are lawyers here, please consider starting a class-action.  I'll gladly contribute.  this is pure bullshit!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 22, 2014, 03:47:27 pm
this did not work for me, I just tried it.  1234 should be 6001, of course (for people who will just mouse it in..)

No.  It should be 0, since that's what the PID got set to by the killer driver.  Then I think you can either use the device that way, or use FTDI's tool to reprogram the PID to e.g. 6001.  (Sorry I don't know all the details, maybe someone else can fill that in.)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 03:49:56 pm
if there are lawyers here, please consider starting a class-action.  I'll gladly contribute.  this is pure bullshit!

Somehow I don't think you are going to find much sympathy complaining about counterfeit goods not working.

How far do you think you would get trying to sue Rolex because the cheap Chinese copy you bought stopped keeping good time?

I have an old fake device that worked before, updating FTDI driver kills it in a way the stops it working even if I revert all the software. It killed my stuff.

Nope now it just needs the correct driver which never existed.

Nope nope.  Windows 7/8 USB stack doesn't like a PID of 0.  Once the PID has been zapped, it won't work with any driver on Windows 7/8.
There is no legitimate driver for the chip so being able to work or not with a driver that doesn't exist is irrelevant.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 03:54:08 pm
I have an old fake device that worked before, updating FTDI driver kills it in a way the stops it working even if I revert all the software. It killed my stuff.

Nope now it just needs the correct driver which never existed.
It worked before, using an old FTDI driver ( which contains no restrictions in the distribution package on only using it with only FTDI chips).
Even after reverting, it's still broken.   If the Windows update did not explicitly warn me, then I suspect this is a deliberate act of unlawful damage to my property.

(Hypothetical situation, I've only ever bought FTDI stuff from FTDI, Easysync or Farnell) 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 03:55:18 pm
This is going to impact the end user.  This is the person who bought a device and has no clue what is in it.  It is amazing to me that FTDI doesn't pop up a window and say, the device you are using is counterfeit and will not work with this driver.  I have no issues with that.  When we get into killing devices, this is an issue.  Let alone, killing them WITHOUT LETTING THE USER KNOW ANYTHING.  They assume it died.  So they buy another one, because it worked for a long while before it died.  And now this one immediately dies.

This doesn't nothing to hurt the counterfeit using manufacturers for a while, but completely and utterly screws over the end consumers who knew nothing of this fight WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION AT ALL.

If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business, I can't trust their judgment on other things.  Why would I choose to include their products in mine?  I really think this is a PR killer for them.  Handled very poorly.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 03:55:35 pm
there will be lawyers on this.  just a matter of time.

what wrong did I do by buying a device on amazon, fully believing that the items there won't be ebay-style fakes?

how is it right, in your view, to punish ME for this?

I can see which side you are on, but you are so wrong about this.  so terribly wrong.  go after the vendors.  NEVER GO AFTER END USERS.  they are not at fault.  if you think they are, then we now know what kind of person YOU are...

taking ftdi's side is not going to win you any friends, here.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 22, 2014, 04:00:51 pm
Well aside from the legality, this is a pretty poor move and it makes me a little sad because I had a very high opinion of ftdi. If I put counterfeit parts in my Toyota, it doesn't explode. Sure, if it causes a crash I am on my own, and if Toyota refuses to service it that is fine, but I feel like this is like me checking my car in for a service and coming back to find that it has been neatly compacted into a cube.

I hope this is a catalyst to move to CDC for everything usb serial. The world could do with one less vendor-locked protocol.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 22, 2014, 04:04:09 pm
I think it's fairly obvious what the general opinion is, from both end-users and professional design engineers. Both are likely to avoid FTDI in future, just in case their products end up containing chips that, through no fault of their own, are deemed as infringing by some piece of driver code.

At least if I design a Cypress, or Prolific, or Microchip part into my product, it's less likely to get wrecked by malware. It's a great shame, because as a general rule I like(d) FTDI products, but now I can't take the risk. FTDI might gain a short-term victory against counterfeiters, but it'll emerge from the battle with its brand in tatters and a suite of updated, more accurate copies to deal with.

Nobody wins here, and I won't be a pawn in someone else's IP dispute.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 04:04:20 pm
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,

Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 04:19:32 pm
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,
Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
That is a typical American point of view. Shoot first, ask questions later. In this case FTDI is killing their entire customer base to get to one counterfeiter which operates in a market FTDI can't penetrate to begin with.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 04:20:16 pm
how many times do we have to explain this?

detect a bad chip: fine!  display a popup and inform the user.

destroy the chip?  NOT SO FINE.

you've just destroyed property of mine.  if you think that's ok, post your name and company so I can avoid you in the future, as well as any products your company makes.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 04:22:06 pm
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,
Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
That is a typical American point of view. Shoot first, ask questions later. In this case FTDI is killing their entire customer base to get to one counterfeiter which operates in a market FTDI can't penetrate to begin with.

sorry, but its not 'typical american'.  you are believing the minority (a tiny tiny percent of americans) who think that 'intellectual property' trumps all other rights.

MOST americans are not this hostile.  please revise your view; I find it highly offensive that you lump so many of us in with the bad apples.  this is NOT an american concept and you watch too many movies, I think...

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 04:27:55 pm
If FTDI thinks this is an OK way to do business,
Supporting poor clones of their chips with drivers isn't doing business. I think that is rather their point.
That is a typical American point of view. Shoot first, ask questions later. In this case FTDI is killing their entire customer base to get to one counterfeiter which operates in a market FTDI can't penetrate to begin with.
FTDI are a British company
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 04:46:21 pm
how many times do we have to explain this?

destroy the chip?  NOT SO FINE.

How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip. The chip will work fine if you have drivers for it. When the chip manufacture writes drivers (and gets them certified and signed) I'm sure they will provide a tool to restore the PID. Maybe they could set the VID to something not stolen from FTDI but probably not because that is what FTDI would have done if it were possible.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 04:48:46 pm
you're a hopeless case.  I won't waste any more time with you on this or any other thread.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 04:54:49 pm
btw, this is exactly the reason why I refuse to install any blueray devices or play any of those discs on my system or on my network.  they also think (via their drm) that they have the right to DISABLE (brick) any device that is not hdcp compliant along the chain.  I've read about one guy who had his dvd player bricked when the bd disc 'updated' the blacklist, just by inserting and playing a disc.

he was able to undo it (very clever and with MUCH effort) but most people would be left with dead hardware, should that happen to them.

this behavior needs to stop.  vendors who think they have a right to ruin your hardware because of IP disputes should be sued to oblivion.  and customers should actively boycott any companies that subscribe to this kind of belief or policy.

every so often, I think about buying a bd burner; but I always stop myself.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 04:55:42 pm
how many times do we have to explain this?

destroy the chip?  NOT SO FINE.

How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip. The chip will work fine if you have drivers for it. When the chip manufacture writes drivers (and gets them certified and signed) I'm sure they will provide a tool to restore the PID. Maybe they could set the VID to something not stolen from FTDI but probably not because that is what FTDI would have done if it were possible.
As far as the vast majority of end-users are concerned, the chip is dead.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: c4757p on October 22, 2014, 05:05:12 pm
How many times to I have to explain - they are not destroying the chip.

Bullshit.

If a device meant for average users is disabled beyond what the average user can fix, the device is fucked. Don't be disingenuous - we're mostly engineers and hobbyists here, we can fix almost anything - that doesn't mean it's not broken. When Joe Sixpack's doohickey stops working because its VID has been reprogrammed, he's up a creek without a paddle.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Alexei.Polkhanov on October 22, 2014, 05:23:24 pm
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: waldo on October 22, 2014, 05:26:21 pm
I've designed several products in the past where I need a USB-to-UART solution.  The choice has been primarily between FTDI and Silicon Labs chips.  This situation has just made my vendor selection much simpler.  AFAIK, SiLabs does not punish end users if our contract manufacturer in China does an unauthorized part substitution.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 22, 2014, 05:32:26 pm
End users that bought FTDI, supported the brand FTDI.   Of course, they wanted the real stuff but they would not know.  They have done their part in buying FTDI.  Instead of going after the faker, FTDI chose the easiest option and screwed the people that supported FTDI.  FTDI has killed their own brand.   

How does one know the FTDI cable he is going to buy is not going to be killed by FTDI driver?  Don't risk buying one.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Pedram on October 22, 2014, 06:05:22 pm
i remember several years ago i really had huge problem with prolific USB to Serial chips and BSOD.... so i simply never used any prolific product again..... some years later i found out that it was because of fake chips.... but i never used them again because of bad that bad taste....


so i think it's time to switch to CH340 or something similar.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 22, 2014, 06:07:48 pm
so i think it's time to switch to CH340 or something similar.

... don't go there. Those things are shocking.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 06:18:05 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 06:22:43 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 22, 2014, 06:25:50 pm
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?

Probably eBay.

Disclaimer: I'm not condoning FTDI's decision.

"Don't go after the customers, go after the theiving vendors!"

Have you ever tried to pursue property rights claims to unscrupulous cloning vendors in China? If not, I can summarize it for you: "HA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH"



My place of employment has concerns about counterfeit devices too. Our way of "trapping" the bad parts? We require a paper trail for authenticity of parts bough in order to provide support. "You bought a bad part? Terribly sorry, but that was not a part sold through authorized channels. If you can replace them with genuine parts, and still have the same problem, we would be glad to help!"

I'm not a lawyer. But as an engineer, this violates good faith (and to the person bagging on "Americans Shoot First..." I'm one of those). I suspect that FTDI will have to demonstrate how this "update" was an integral part of driver maintenance and not a deliberately malicious act. I.e. does changing the PID to 0 have a functional value to the existing parts? This will be the first question the lawyer on the opposition will be asking. If the answer is not yes, then there is going to be some trouble - likely on the ground similar to creators of Computer Viruses (virii?).

Now, I personally, have an FT232R on a controller I am about to push to major release - something that will be going to quantity production - and I have to keep in mind my company's corporate image and have to wonder what (if any) fall out will land on our shoulders with the part.




I'm unclear on one thing though: Is this driver update something that Microsoft pushes without consent or something the end customer downloads from FTDI? (Not that it changes the situation). If it's a MS push, that makes this much, much worse.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 06:28:37 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?

I'm not OK using fake parts in my product.  However, if it were to happen, FTDI is making sure that my customer assumes my product just broke.  There will be no feedback from the customer for me to even determine that I've been duped by a supplier.  My customer will just never be my customer again.

It could have been handled in quite a few ways and FTDI chose the worse way possible.  What I don't know is how robust the driver code is.  Will FTDI accidentally kill their legit chips?  It is possible.  Someone misses a check in the test suite and it does a kill all of an older model.  Now legitimate chips are dead. 

Firmware updates are easy to get very wrong.  When your firmware update is a bullet to the head, it is also hard to fix it.  Were this to complain about counterfeit and not work, that would be perfectly fine.  A false positive is fixed with an updated driver.  Hard to scrape off the cranial matter and put it back in your skull after you shot yourself in the head, though.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jadew on October 22, 2014, 06:35:19 pm
i remember several years ago i really had huge problem with prolific USB to Serial chips and BSOD.... so i simply never used any prolific product again..... some years later i found out that it was because of fake chips.... but i never used them again because of bad that bad taste....

I had the same experience and I bet the same will happen with FTDI.


Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.

I tried them, they're ok. I actually went for them at one point because I could re-write the firmware and I was able to lock the baudrate this way. You can obviously buy the real MCU and do that, but the USB to Serial chip is cheaper than the actual MCU for some reason :)



Has anyone tried the Microchip USB to RS232 converter ICs? They are cheap and the one I tested seems to be quite good. Basically just a PIC with the right firmware programmed at the factory.
For this purpose it would be ok i guess, might try it in the near future.
For a lot of other applications such as any I2C bridge or I/O peripheral I personally do not trust a standard PIC with software. I rather have a hardware statemachine solution for that. But thats just my 2 cents.

Should work fine, if the MCU has a peripheral for I2C, it means it's implemented in hardware, with the software only doing the glue logic between the USB peripheral and the I2C one.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: kmel on October 22, 2014, 06:41:46 pm
How can I prevent the killing?

Check all my beloved USB China toys with an older XP machine.
If a FTDI chip is present, change the VID/PID with FTDI tools.
Modify an older driver to work with the new VID/PID.
Use the toy on an updated Windows system, but with the modified driver.

Is all of above doable and is this modified driver safe not to be updated?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 06:44:15 pm
fwiw, hackaday now has this on their front page.  linked to this forum's post, too.

let the shitstorm begin.

I hope ftdi gets tons of emails and phonecalls about this.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marshallh on October 22, 2014, 06:44:43 pm
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 06:52:08 pm
I acknowledge that people and companies have the right to defend their copyrights. I can't however condone destroying counterfeit products which where purchased in good faith.

Containing a stolen VID the device isn't USB standard compliant so you should not have expectations of it working in the first place. Possessors of stolen property generally have few rights regardless of their knowledge of it being stolen.

FTDI should have 'reclaimed' their VID, presumably not and option, I can't blame them for trashing the PID instead.
Does it only kill devices with FTDI's VID? (Can the fakes have the VID reprogrammed?)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 06:55:24 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?

No, but it can happen. It happened many big manufacturers without there liability. Most time the chip-manifacturer then loses a little bit of money because the not selled chips. Now that shall be my risk, but I don't just lose some non existent profit. I lose costs of manufactoring, shipping, time to rebuild, reputation of customers, etc,etc....
So why just eat this toad whitout the need ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 06:57:40 pm
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
It's the same naive approach the music industry tried, and failed, to use against piracy. Punishing the "pirates" doesn't accomplish anything. Clones will always exist, and this is a market they are not directly competing with, as the people buying the cloned chips are mostly not, and never will be, FTDI customers. Yes, this will hurt the market for cheap FTDI cables, but rather than move to expensive legitimate cables, they are destroying their brand and making them un-purchaseable for anyone, including design engineers, due to the risk of their device or product randomly failing in the future.

If FTDI were an end user products company I might see them have a bit more success, as those purchasing fake FTDI gadgets would likely know they're fake, like the Gucci handbags you buy in Bangkok. However they're not. They sell chips to integrators and many other vendors. Now they've burned their direct customer, the integrator, as well as the end user. It's a stupid response and will get them no goodwill from anyone, including their legitimate customers, who weren't harmed by the clones in the first place.

They could have done a few different things to reinforce their brand and undermine the clone's reputation without pulling the trigger on millions of devices. Microsoft learned this years ago.

I mean I understand they're butthurt about this, but taking it out on the end user, when they don't even sell to the end user, is not a productive response and will certainly hurt their image, while it never stood any chance of helping it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: kwallen on October 22, 2014, 07:02:44 pm
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.
It's the same naive approach the music industry tried, and failed, to use against piracy. Punishing the "pirates" doesn't accomplish anything. Clones will always exist, and this is a market they are not directly competing with, as the people buying the cloned chips are mostly not, and never will be, FTDI customers. Yes, this will hurt the market for cheap FTDI cables, but rather than move to expensive legitimate cables, they are destroying their brand and making them un-purchaseable for anyone, including design engineers, due to the risk of their device or product randomly failing in the future.


I'm not sure this even has the desired effect for them, I would be incredibly surprised if anybody can tell the difference between a clone and a real one without decapping it. The end result is just tainting their own brand and pissing off millions of clueless, unconnected people when their hardware suddenly stops working.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 07:05:02 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?
No, but it can happen. It happened many big manufacturers without there liability. Most time the chip-manifacturer then loses a little bit of money because the not selled chips. Now that shall be my risk, but I don't just lose some non existent profit. I lose costs of manufactoring, shipping, time to rebuild, reputation of customers, etc,etc....
So why just eat this toad whitout the need ?
But now you have a great tool how to check to be genuine right away  :-DD. However fakers likely will fix them soon.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: firewalker on October 22, 2014, 07:11:18 pm
So, the drivers just changes the PID:VID to something else? On Linux, I guess, someone could just end a patch to the kernel tree for the driver adding the new VID:PID. :P :P :P

 drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio_ids.h

Alexander.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 07:13:35 pm
Okay nice. I don't think there are only hobbyists affected of this thing....

So, why should I ever use FTDI chips again when I must control the complete delivery chain for this chips ? That sounds to expensive and risky for me. There are good alternatives...
As if you didn't need before driver update. Or are you OK with using fake parts in your product?
No, but it can happen. It happened many big manufacturers without there liability. Most time the chip-manifacturer then loses a little bit of money because the not selled chips. Now that shall be my risk, but I don't just lose some non existent profit. I lose costs of manufactoring, shipping, time to rebuild, reputation of customers, etc,etc....
So why just eat this toad whitout the need ?
But now you have a great tool how to check to be genuine right away  :-DD. However fakers likely will fix them soon.

Hehe, yes now I can :D But just after the manufacturing.
Yes, thats the joke on this, FTDI loses reputation and the faker will fix their chips...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rsjsouza on October 22, 2014, 07:19:31 pm
Does it only kill devices with FTDI's VID? (Can the fakes have the VID reprogrammed?)
If you have your own VID/PID, then you should supply your own device drivers - even if they redistribute the FTDI binaries under the hood (most of them do).

In this case, perhaps you will be shielded if you don't update the binaries in your own device driver support package.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 07:23:20 pm
Put yourself in FTDI's shoes... It's a bold move, but I understand exactly why they did it.
What makes you think FTDI haven't already been trying to fight the cloners from the supplying end already?
FTDI enjoys a decent premium over the knockoffs and similar products due to brand recognition. Do you think they are going to piss away all that potential money just because some chinese cloners started selling counterfeit product?
Buying fake chips has ALWAYS been a bad deal for everybody involved.

I can understand why FTDI would implement a block on counterfeit chips.  But to silently break them, it is doing them no good.  Inform the user that their device is using an counterfeit chip.  This does nothing to educate people about the problem, it just makes engineers never use an FTDI part ever again.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 07:26:18 pm
Containing a stolen VID the device isn't USB standard compliant so you should not have expectations of it working in the first place. Possessors of stolen property generally have few rights regardless of their knowledge of it being stolen.

FTDI should have 'reclaimed' their VID, presumably not and option, I can't blame them for trashing the PID instead.
Does it only kill devices with FTDI's VID? (Can the fakes have the VID reprogrammed?)
An FTDI driver wouldn't get installed or loaded if the device didn't have a matching VID/PID. I don't know if the VID can be reprogrammed. Removal of a VID owned by FTDI would be more justifiable but what would they replace it with? They couldn't really use someone else's VID or one that had not yet been sold.  0000 seems not to have been allocated but I don't know that 0000 is reserved for uninitialised or unknown like it appears to be for PIDs.

We don't even know how many types of FTDI clone there are. Maybe some are better clones and can't be detected by FTDI drivers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 07:27:14 pm
So, the drivers just changes the PID:VID to something else? On Linux, I guess, someone could just end a patch to the kernel tree for the driver adding the new VID:PID. :P :P :P

 drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio_ids.h

Alexander.
You don't even need to patch the kernel, you can add the new ID at runtime via sysfs.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MikeH on October 22, 2014, 07:28:58 pm
For us, the circuit designers are the ones who decide which chip to use (or replace), and supply chain is a whole different department.  If I had a lot of my products come back with broken FTDI chips, I'd probably conclude that the chips are crap and I'd better use something else. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 07:34:37 pm
For us, the circuit designers are the ones who decide which chip to use (or replace), and supply chain is a whole different department.  If I had a lot of my products come back with broken FTDI chips, I'd probably conclude that the chips are crap and I'd better use something else.

Thats how it works in reallity :) Maybee FTDI doesn't know that...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 07:36:01 pm
For us, the circuit designers are the ones who decide which chip to use (or replace), and supply chain is a whole different department.  If I had a lot of my products come back with broken FTDI chips, I'd probably conclude that the chips are crap and I'd better use something else.

You mean something like real FTDI chips instead of Supereal Microelectronics chips with FTDI written on them?

I had a bunch of boards manufactured in China with fake Fairchild MOSFETS that didn't work - from that I should have concluded that Fairchild makes crap MOSFETs?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: firewalker on October 22, 2014, 07:36:17 pm
You don't even need to patch the kernel, you can add the new ID at runtime via sysfs.

Yes. Such a patch to the official kernel tree would be nice though.

Alexander.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 07:37:36 pm

An FTDI driver wouldn't get installed or loaded if the device didn't have a matching VID/PID.

Not the default one, but one with a suitably tweaked .INF file will.
Anyone who ships a FTDI device other than a simple serial converter with the factory VID&PID should be shot as it can cause major compatibility issues.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jadew on October 22, 2014, 07:38:22 pm
This thread is currently going at ~100 views / minute.

I wonder if anyone from FTDI is following it, because it's the story of how people stopped using FTDI chips.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 22, 2014, 07:42:51 pm
Please note that FTDI`s driver licence agreement will be broken if used with counterfeit devices.

It's your driver that decides to attach itself to the device, not the other way around. The user doesn't 'select' your driver to be used with that competing device.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 07:51:48 pm
This thread is currently going at ~100 views / minute.

I wonder if anyone from FTDI is following it, because it's the story of how people stopped using FTDI chips.

A new user called FTDI chip has already posted in this thread. FTDI don't care if people stop using clones of their chips.

It's your driver that decides to attach itself to the device, not the other way around. The user doesn't 'select' your driver to be used with that competing device.
The device decides what driver it wants to attach to it. The user decided to buy a device which asks for the wrong driver.

An FTDI driver wouldn't get installed or loaded if the device didn't have a matching VID/PID.

Anyone who ships a FTDI device other than a simple serial converter with the factory VID&PID should be shot as it can cause major compatibility issues.

The same as anyone who ships a non-FTDI device with and FTDI VID.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 22, 2014, 07:54:51 pm
Made it to slashdot and hackaday. Well, they're boned. And rightfully so.

Make your drivers simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs ... fair enough I suppose. :-+

Willfully brick devices from another vendor, just because you are having legal issues with that other vendor .... not very nice, and possibly illegal. :--
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 07:55:08 pm
There is a very simple way to do this CORRECTLY.

1 - Windows uses device driver based on PID/VID codes.
2 - Driver detects counterfeit device.
3 - Driver informs users that device is counterfeit and does not allow it to function.

Same end result of not working, but the user actually can know why and they complain to the company the made it.  Complains work up the line until we find out where the fake chip came into the mix.  Of all the wrong ways this couldn't be done, I can't think of a better way to get no design engineer to want to risk using your product again.

The product doesn't work.  How do we know if we had an ESD failure or a dishonest Chinese CM?  This is just stupid.

A new user called FTDI chip has already posted in this thread. FTDI don't care if people stop using clones of their chips.

And they are too stupid to understand that people will stop using their chips as well.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: diyaudio on October 22, 2014, 07:59:55 pm
I bought some RS485 boards from Ebay with an FTDI FT232 chip on them. Appearantly the chips are fake. I used them with Linux and they work fine. After plugging them into a Windows PC with the latest drivers they quit working (even with Linux). I think the FTDI driver somehow kills the fake FTDI chip. Not nice if you got a lot of these boards in the field  :palm:

Another one bites the dust.

I encountered the same problem last week, https://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/stm32f103c8tc6-usart-help/15/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/microcontrollers/stm32f103c8tc6-usart-help/15/) I am reworking the 3 boards I bought off ebay with the originals.



Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: langwadt on October 22, 2014, 08:00:06 pm
For us, the circuit designers are the ones who decide which chip to use (or replace), and supply chain is a whole different department.  If I had a lot of my products come back with broken FTDI chips, I'd probably conclude that the chips are crap and I'd better use something else.

Thats how it works in reallity :) Maybee FTDI doesn't know that...

yeh, it used to be cp21xx that had a bad reputation because there were so many fakes and they constantly updated the drivers to break them so it seemed the they never worked 

I can also  imagine it could get FTDI in legal trouble, You can't just deliberately break other peoples stuff because you think they violate your IP


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: bingo600 on October 22, 2014, 08:01:32 pm
Damm .... FTDI  :-- :--

I really liked your chips , and considered them the best (most ComPort compatible)
But killing the product , this is unacceptable.

I'll switch to Silabs , on my next designs.

/Bingo
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 08:03:00 pm
Make your drivers simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs ... fair enough I suppose. :-+

Willfully brick devices from another vendor, just because you are having legal issues with that other vendor .... not very nice, and possibly illegal. :--
They haven't bricked anything. They changed the PID so their older drivers will also simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs. It would be an issue if there were any other legitimate drivers that worked with these non-genuine chips but there are not and FTDI know it because the non-genuine chips use FTDI's VID and FTDI are the only ones able to create a legitimate driver for something with their VID.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 08:09:25 pm
This is hilarious, so much heat and noise from so many unimportants:

-Try pursuing cloners in China, totally impossible

-If the FTDI drivers displayed a message box 99.9% of users will click cancel and carry on regardless. This way gets their attention

-FTDI don't give a monkey's about all this commotion, this move is aimed at mfrs that ship 10-100K devices. If devices start failing in the field then end users will complain to their supplier not FTDI - it's unlikely the end user will even know or care the USB UART is a fake FTDI. The supplier will notice/care when the RMAs start piling up (and then take action to control their supply chain - FTDI win)

-If you can't trust your mfr then buy the FTDI parts from Mouser/Dodgeykey/RS/Farnell and give them to the Chinese factory FOC. This forces you to control your supply chain, you should be doing that anyway

-Go ahead & use an alternate part, you will not benefit from the 'built-in' FTDI drivers in Windoze and have your end user suffer the inconvenience of downloading/installing a driver - 0/10 for ease of use

-Stop using Tarduino + FTDI USB UARTs, start designing with grown up ARM chips and implement your own USB CDC stacks - problem solved

I say good for FTDI, they invented the USB UART chip business and deserve to benefit financially, instead they are being ripped of by Chinese fakers facilitated by outfits that are too cheap/lazy to control their own supply chains

Flame away ;)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: teraflop on October 22, 2014, 08:12:26 pm
It would be an issue if there were any other legitimate drivers that worked with these non-genuine chips but there are not and FTDI know it because the non-genuine chips use FTDI's VID and FTDI are the only ones able to create a legitimate driver for something with their VID.

I beg to differ: http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio.c (http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio.c)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jadew on October 22, 2014, 08:12:49 pm
Make your drivers simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs ... fair enough I suppose. :-+

Willfully brick devices from another vendor, just because you are having legal issues with that other vendor .... not very nice, and possibly illegal. :--
They haven't bricked anything. They changed the PID so their older drivers will also simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs. It would be an issue if there were any other legitimate drivers that worked with these non-genuine chips but there are not and FTDI know it because the non-genuine chips use FTDI's VID and FTDI are the only ones able to create a legitimate driver for something with their VID.

And now the question is if they have any legal rights over the VID, which is just a number allocated by the USB Consortium at $5k a pop. As far as I know, this allocation is not backed by any law.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 22, 2014, 08:16:58 pm
They haven't bricked anything. They changed the PID so their older drivers will also simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs.
Sure they bricked it. They made changes to a device you paid for & own, without notifying you of these changes and the slight 100% chance of inoperability that might possibly occur. As for bricking semantics, these changes make this device inoperable for the average consumer who has no truck with popping in the debian rescue cd/stick/whatever.

So they don't want me to use their windoze drivers? Fair enough. But after I reboot to linux it'd be nice if that  non-FTDI device still worked.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 08:21:16 pm
So, the drivers just changes the PID:VID to something else? On Linux, I guess, someone could just end a patch to the kernel tree for the driver adding the new VID:PID. :P :P :P

 drivers/usb/serial/ftdi_sio_ids.h

Alexander.
You don't even need to patch the kernel, you can add the new ID at runtime via sysfs.

I tried.  didn't work.  what is the exact command?  I have a 'bad' ftdi board (ruined just today) and so I'm willing to try the hot fix on linux.  the one that was posted before (earlier today) did not work.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 08:22:24 pm
Sounds a lot like the BS from freeloaders using 'backups' in their modded XBoxes and then got banned from XBLive. 'We restored the original firmware & still banned - no fair'
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daveshah on October 22, 2014, 08:24:39 pm
Given that the terms & conditions aren't actively agreed to by the user due to it being automatic through Windows Update, I wonder if it is a violation of the UK Computer Misuse Act - "unauthorised modification of computer material"?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 08:27:10 pm
Make your drivers simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs ... fair enough I suppose. :-+

Willfully brick devices from another vendor, just because you are having legal issues with that other vendor .... not very nice, and possibly illegal. :--
They haven't bricked anything. They changed the PID so their older drivers will also simply refuse to work with non-genuine ICs. It would be an issue if there were any other legitimate drivers that worked with these non-genuine chips but there are not and FTDI know it because the non-genuine chips use FTDI's VID and FTDI are the only ones able to create a legitimate driver for something with their VID.

Oh yes, like CIH. I doesn't bricked your motherboard, it just flashed your bios with new software....thats a totally other thing !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIH_%28computer_virus%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIH_%28computer_virus%29)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 08:33:13 pm
Quote:

This software is provided by Future Technology Devices International Limited ``as is'' and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall future technology devices international limited be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
FTDI drivers may be used only in conjunction with products based on FTDI parts.
FTDI drivers may be distributed in any form as long as license information is not modified.
If a custom vendor ID and/or product ID or description string are used, it is the responsibility of the product manufacturer to maintain any changes and subsequent WHCK re-certification as a result of making these changes.   

I'm betting by plugging in an FTDI device you are accepting the license (you are getting the benefit). You did read the license right?

If Windoze updated your driver without telling you then take it up with MS, see how far that gets you ;)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 08:36:21 pm
does anyone have a link to the last GOOD driver from ftdi?  I may have a cdrom with it, but will take me a while to find it.  I'd like to blacklist the windows update and reinstall the driver from the last known good version.  what IS the version string that was 'safe' and does anyone have a link to download that good version?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jadew on October 22, 2014, 08:41:27 pm
Quote:

This software is provided by Future Technology Devices International Limited ``as is'' and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall future technology devices international limited be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
FTDI drivers may be used only in conjunction with products based on FTDI parts.
FTDI drivers may be distributed in any form as long as license information is not modified.
If a custom vendor ID and/or product ID or description string are used, it is the responsibility of the product manufacturer to maintain any changes and subsequent WHCK re-certification as a result of making these changes.   

I'm betting by plugging in an FTDI device you are accepting the license (you are getting the benefit). You did read the license right?

If Windoze updated your driver without telling you then take it up with MS, see how far that gets you ;)

That doesn't mean that if you violate the agreement they have the right to come in and kill your dog.

At worst, it should simply not work.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 08:42:38 pm
does anyone have a link to the last GOOD driver from ftdi?  ...

And a copy of XP too so I can slowly go out of date & become irrelevant :)

That doesn't mean that if you violate the agreement they have the right to come in and kill your dog.

At worst, it should simply not work.

Erm, well, it doesn't work anymore, does it?

This is even funnier than when Sparkfun got spanked for importing dodgy Fluke clones and the 'maker' world erupted in butt hurt fury... Fluke played a blinder by giving SF a bunch of meters, SF couldn't sell them (had to 'donate' them) and they were still out 1000s of dollars. 100% Fluke win, pure marketing brilliance...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 22, 2014, 08:45:47 pm
Ah, I don't have one of these dongles at hand, but the basic mechanism applies to any driver. You'll need the actual VID/PID combination (see lsusb), the mechanism is described here: http://www.ha19.no/usb/ (http://www.ha19.no/usb/)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 08:46:56 pm
FTDI wants us hobbieists to contact their business dealers instead of buying the few ic's from " dubious" sources as Ebay because they are too lazy to check all Ebay listings with "FTDI" in their advertisement.
Great let all hobbieists unite and email their official FTDI dealer tomorrow to give them an official quote for those one, two or few FTDI chips and if they don,t hear an answer or denial for such quote within one day keep on repeating those emails. I wonder how much they will loose on all that paperwork.
If FTDI wants to do something that really will hurt those counterfeiters they should open up an official ebay store where everyone can buy few pieces of official ic's for decent prices with free shipping, only then will something happen.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 08:47:55 pm
Sounds a lot like the BS from freeloaders using 'backups' in their modded XBoxes and then got banned from XBLive. 'We restored the original firmware & still banned - no fair'
Sorry but this has nothing to do with freeloading. It is as if you buy a PC with Windows but it turns out it has is no valid Windows license. Microsoft notifies you of this issue politely and allows a grace period instead of reformatting your hard drive immediately.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: d18c7db on October 22, 2014, 08:49:37 pm
Guys we're all supposed to be techies in here. So far there has been debate as to whether FTDI did the right thing or not, talk of suing, very little talk of how to rectify the situation.

Unfortunately I don't have one of those problematic FTDI chips to play with but from past experience with FTDI, I doubt very much that the driver is able to actually kill the chip. Most of the feedback on this issue mentions that the VID/PID is reset to zero. This information is not held on the chip itself but on an attached EEPROM.

This means, and I'm only just guessing here, that the driver may try to update some EEPROM parameters and due to some incompatibility or difference between the real/fake FTDI chips, the fake ones fail to write the EEPROM correctly and it remains erased. This is just me guessing and giving FTDI the benefit of the doubt.

So continuing with my theory, since you can't kill the FTDI chip itself via software, this is just an issue of the EEPROM getting erased. The fix may simply be to disconnect the EEPROM SPI clock trace so that the fake chip cannot detect it, therefore reverting to the hard coded VID/PID which is the normal behaviour of a FTDI chip, whether real or fake.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 08:51:21 pm
Quote:

This software is provided by Future Technology Devices International Limited ``as is'' and any express or implied warranties, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are disclaimed. In no event shall future technology devices international limited be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages (including, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption) however caused and on any theory of liability, whether in contract, strict liability, or tort (including negligence or otherwise) arising in any way out of the use of this software, even if advised of the possibility of such damage.
FTDI drivers may be used only in conjunction with products based on FTDI parts.
FTDI drivers may be distributed in any form as long as license information is not modified.
If a custom vendor ID and/or product ID or description string are used, it is the responsibility of the product manufacturer to maintain any changes and subsequent WHCK re-certification as a result of making these changes.   

I'm betting by plugging in an FTDI device you are accepting the license (you are getting the benefit). You did read the license right?

If Windoze updated your driver without telling you then take it up with MS, see how far that gets you ;)


Oh, sounds like "If you insert this dvd in your drive, you accept the license and we can format your harddrive". On a text file on the DVD.
really ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jadew on October 22, 2014, 08:53:45 pm
Erm, well, it doesn't work anymore, does it?

I meant the driver, please stop being a troll.


Guys we're all supposed to be techies in here. So far there has been debate as to whether FTDI did the right thing or not, talk of suing, very little talk of how to rectify the situation.

Unfortunately I don't have one of those problematic FTDI chips to play with but from past experience with FTDI, I doubt very much that the driver is able to actually kill the chip. Most of the feedback on this issue mentions that the VID/PID is reset to zero. This information is not held on the chip itself but on an attached EEPROM.

This means, and I'm only just guessing here, that the driver may try to update some EEPROM parameters and due to some incompatibility or difference between the real/fake FTDI chips, the fake ones fail to write the EEPROM correctly and it remains erased. This is just me guessing and giving FTDI the benefit of the doubt.

So continuing with my theory, since you can't kill the FTDI chip itself via software, this is just an issue of the EEPROM getting erased. The fix may simply be to disconnect the EEPROM SPI clock trace so that the fake chip cannot detect it, therefore reverting to the hard coded VID/PID which is the normal behaviour of a FTDI chip, whether real or fake.

The chip has built in EEPROM, so there are no bus lines to be disconnected. Also, there is no reason why a driver would alter the VID/PID pair during normal operation.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 08:55:47 pm
This information is not held on the chip itself but on an attached EEPROM.
If you read above posts and links you would have seen that the eeprom is on the chip, it is a one chip design.
Only repair is to exchange the illegal chip with a real one which you now can order at the official ftdi dealer at one piece at a time.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 08:56:09 pm
FTDI wants us hobbieists to contact their business dealers instead of buying the few ic's from " dubious" sources as Ebay because they are too lazy to check all Ebay listings with "FTDI" in their advertisement.
Great let all hobbieists unite and email their official FTDI dealer tomorrow to give them an official quote for those one, two or few FTDI chips and if they don,t hear an answer or denial for such quote within one day keep on repeating those emails. I wonder how much they will loose on all that paperwork.
If FTDI wants to do something that really will hurt those counterfeiters they should open up an official ebay store where everyone can buy few pieces of official ic's for decent prices with free shipping, only then will something happen.

Right, coz who buys the official item when they can get it a dollar cheaper elsewhere? FTDI want you to pressure the suppliers who sell fakes. Eventually those suppliers will give up because of the noise and stock only the real deal - FTDI win

Sounds a lot like the BS from freeloaders using 'backups' in their modded XBoxes and then got banned from XBLive. 'We restored the original firmware & still banned - no fair'
Sorry but this has nothing to do with freeloading. It is as if you buy a PC with Windows but it turns out it has is no valid Windows license. Microsoft notifies you of this issue politely and allows a grace period instead of reformatting your hard drive immediately.

You have had many years of grace period but still buy the fakes coz they are a buck cheaper - M$ give you 30 days iirc. You did nothing because you didn't have to - that's freeloading on FTDIs goodwill in my book

Oh, sounds like "If you insert this dvd in your drive, you accept the license and we can format your harddrive". On a text file on the DVD.
really ?

Last M$ disk I looked at had the words "Do not make illegal copies of this disk" printed on it. Doesn't mention lawyers and going to jail but those are the consequences if you ignore the friendly warning. "Do not use our drivers with knock off chips" - doesn't mention dead HW if you do but, hey! guess what? pfft, freetards, buy the real chips and pay the implicit license fee, how hard is that to understand? Maybe you think quality Windoze drivers (and M$ tax on drivers) grow on trees?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 08:56:28 pm
Guys we're all supposed to be techies in here. So far there has been debate as to whether FTDI did the right thing or not, talk of suing, very little talk of how to rectify the situation.

Unfortunately I don't have one of those problematic FTDI chips to play with but from past experience with FTDI, I doubt very much that the driver is able to actually kill the chip. Most of the feedback on this issue mentions that the VID/PID is reset to zero. This information is not held on the chip itself but on an attached EEPROM.

This means, and I'm only just guessing here, that the driver may try to update some EEPROM parameters and due to some incompatibility or difference between the real/fake FTDI chips, the fake ones fail to write the EEPROM correctly and it remains erased. This is just me guessing and giving FTDI the benefit of the doubt.

So continuing with my theory, since you can't kill the FTDI chip itself via software, this is just an issue of the EEPROM getting erased. The fix may simply be to disconnect the EEPROM SPI clock trace so that the fake chip cannot detect it, therefore reverting to the hard coded VID/PID which is the normal behaviour of a FTDI chip, whether real or fake.
FT232R* have internal eeprom and supposedly counterfeits have it too.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ovnr on October 22, 2014, 08:58:15 pm
Yeah, this is completely unacceptable. And I wouldn't be surprised for a second if their magical counterfeit-detection code made a mistake and bricked a legit part.

I would have no issue with the driver failing or refusing to install or whatever, but physically damaging a product, counterfeit or not? No. Just no. It is not FTDIs job to police what I plug into my computer, and no EULA on their part is going to change that.


Going to write an exceedingly angry e-mail to them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 22, 2014, 08:58:30 pm

You mean something like real FTDI chips instead of Supereal Microelectronics chips with FTDI written on them?

I had a bunch of boards manufactured in China with fake Fairchild MOSFETS that didn't work - from that I should have concluded that Fairchild makes crap MOSFETs?

When purchasing swaps sources for parts, because "it's the same thing" and you start getting Field Failures, I strongly doubt your first question will be "is this Fairchild FET legit?"
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ovnr on October 22, 2014, 09:00:16 pm
Right, coz who buys the official item when they can get it a dollar cheaper elsewhere? FTDI want you to pressure the suppliers who sell fakes. Eventually those suppliers will give up because of the noise and stock only the real deal - FTDI win

Stop being a dick. The only thing FTDI accomplished here is that I'm not going to design any FTDI chips into anything in the future, fake or otherwise.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 09:00:41 pm
Right, coz who buys the official item when they can get it a dollar cheaper elsewhere? FTDI want you to pressure the suppliers who sell fakes. Eventually those suppliers will give up because of the noise and stock only the real deal - FTDI win
An individual can not pressure the suppliers at ebay. We can argue that it was a fake and claim our money back then they ask the product back and the end user can pay the shipping which is more then the price of the product so not going to happen. Result will be that no one is ever going to bet his money on buying any product that has an ftdi chip on it since you can not know if it is a fake or not?
So FTDI will go belly up. If that is winning in your scenario :P
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:05:47 pm
Right, coz who buys the official item when they can get it a dollar cheaper elsewhere? FTDI want you to pressure the suppliers who sell fakes. Eventually those suppliers will give up because of the noise and stock only the real deal - FTDI win

Stop being a dick. The only thing FTDI accomplished here is that I'm not going to design any FTDI chips into anything in the future, fake or otherwise.

Oooh, I bet the multi-million dollar FTDI are terrified, you might go use a poor substitute in your next 'maker' project :S

Right, coz who buys the official item when they can get it a dollar cheaper elsewhere? FTDI want you to pressure the suppliers who sell fakes. Eventually those suppliers will give up because of the noise and stock only the real deal - FTDI win
An individual can not pressure the suppliers at ebay. We can argue that it was a fake and claim our money back then they ask the product back and the end user can pay the shipping which is more then the price of the product so not going to happen. Result will be that no one is ever going to bet his money on buying any product that has an ftdi chip on it since you can not know if it is a fake or not?
So FTDI will go belly up. If that is winning in your scenario :P

No, you can't pressure an ebay seller but if enough ppl stop buying/start returning/reporting his cloned shit then he's going to have to take notice - that's the point. Sure, there will be fallout and innocent victims, for that you have to blame the cheap swine who accepted his garbage when they _could_ save a buck - but not anymore
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 22, 2014, 09:09:31 pm
Oooh, I bet the multi-million dollar FTDI are terrified, you might go use a poor substitute in your next 'maker' project :S

Is there a minimum number of thread participants you have to bait to qualify for your weekly 4chan achievement?

Stop being a dick.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 09:11:46 pm
@kpr8:
Do you have the new driver installed ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 09:12:08 pm
Sounds a lot like the BS from freeloaders using 'backups' in their modded XBoxes and then got banned from XBLive. 'We restored the original firmware & still banned - no fair'
Sorry but this has nothing to do with freeloading. It is as if you buy a PC with Windows but it turns out it has is no valid Windows license. Microsoft notifies you of this issue politely and allows a grace period instead of reformatting your hard drive immediately.
You have had many years of grace period but still buy the fakes coz they are a buck cheaper - M$ give you 30 days iirc. You did nothing because you didn't have to - that's freeloading on FTDIs goodwill in my book
Not many years. I just got the boards a couple of weeks ago and the chips look like the genuine ones even under a magnifier. As I wrote before I have the genuine parts in stock so I put them side by side. Either way there is no freeloading by me. I bought a product in good faith and spend two hours figuring out why the boards (suddenly) didn't work after being used on a Windows machine. If the FTDI driver had prompted me that the chips on the board where fake and therefore could not be used I would not have needed to spend to hours trying to figure out what is wrong.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 09:13:24 pm
No, you can't pressure an ebay seller but if enough ppl stop buying/start returning/reporting his cloned shit then he's going to have to take notice
Oh they are going to take notice and so will FTDI because nobody will ever order anything on ebay with the name FTDI in it ever again.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:17:18 pm
@kpr8:
Do you have the new driver installed ?

Sure, and I use legitimate FTDI parts & so I have 0 issues (actually I use Linux so it's a non-issue)

To be clear, I am trolling you. BUT the fact remains this is a problem that the 'build it cheap in China' movement has brought on it's own head. A couple of dozen butt-hurt makers isn't going to make a fig of difference to FTDI and if you think otherwise then you're a fool

Yeah, this is a good old fashioned internet flame war - bring it!  >:D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:18:57 pm
Sounds a lot like the BS from freeloaders using 'backups' in their modded XBoxes and then got banned from XBLive. 'We restored the original firmware & still banned - no fair'
Sorry but this has nothing to do with freeloading. It is as if you buy a PC with Windows but it turns out it has is no valid Windows license. Microsoft notifies you of this issue politely and allows a grace period instead of reformatting your hard drive immediately.
You have had many years of grace period but still buy the fakes coz they are a buck cheaper - M$ give you 30 days iirc. You did nothing because you didn't have to - that's freeloading on FTDIs goodwill in my book
Not many years. I just got the boards a couple of weeks ago and the chips look like the genuine ones even under a magnifier. As I wrote before I have the genuine parts in stock so I put them side by side. Either way there is no freeloading by me. I bought a product in good faith and spend two hours figuring out why the boards (suddenly) didn't work after being used on a Windows machine. If the FTDI driver had prompted me that the chips on the board where fake and therefore could not be used I would not have needed to spend to hours trying to figure out what is wrong.

You're a victiim of other peoples willingness to accept clones. Sorry dude, you have my sympathy
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 09:23:41 pm
its not just 'makers'.  I am seeing a lot of design (product) engineers steer away from ftdi just to avoid any RISK of having this hit them.  unless you are a huge company, you cannot micromanage your offshore board builders.  sure, you spec in a real ftdi part; but the pcb makers who stuff your board will do what they want and unless you have a man on the ground, there, 7x24, you cannot be sure some fakes won't slip into the supply.

so, what do you do?  not take any risks.  dont' design for ftdi and use another serial/usb chip.

hell, I would do that if I was in a large company.  this will stay in my mind for years and if I am asked to do a design review (it happens..) and I see ftdi in there, I will certainly speak up.  whether my voice is heard or respected, I can't say, but I will certainly raise the issue.  why even take a chance that it will backfire and your own company will get blamed?  who wants angry customers?  best to just avoid ftdi in all designs, from now on.  sure, they are great chips, but I would not want even one angry customer who blames ME for this.

would be interesting to see how this affects ftdi in the long run.  wish we could get numbers on their sales and watch it over time ;)  I'm very sure that their bottom line will suffer from this; they are just too pig-headed to get that fact; but they WILL see it, later on.

this forum has hobbiests and actual product engineers.  from my read on the comments here, not one single product engineers WANTS to take risks on this subject.  can you 100% be sure that your board stuffers won't go rogue and sub a fake chip?  do you want to bet your company's rep on it?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 09:31:35 pm
You know what I would like to know? Up to what level in management of FTDI this "feature" in the driver software was sanctioned. For all we know this shitstorm ends up in the press and next monday the responsible FTDI engineer and supervisor who thought this was a clever idea are fired with a new software driver on the way. Reputation damage is already done.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 22, 2014, 09:33:03 pm
Putting on a TFH, I would not be surprised if KRP8 is not a Social Media Damage Control expert/consultant. FTDI Chip makes an account and makes a single post; the board blasts them, so then comes in a new guy with no prior posts to call everyone who whines something along the lines of "negligible slime."
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:34:12 pm
Not one profi 'product' engineer would accept the risk - instead they will get onto their sourcing team make damn sure the chips are legit.

That's the point

Go FTDI! It's about time someone made a stand. FTDI have been delivering innovative & quality products for years and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. If they don't get paid then YOU don't get new parts to play with (have you checked out the FT800/1 parts? freaking awesome)

I say there should be a fair return on investment & IP companies should get paid for their work (even if it offends the freetards and 'makers' who are used to getting stuff for free)

The alternative is we end up stuck with shitty devices at high prices. Go figure

Love, your local neighbourhood troll
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 09:34:36 pm
@kpr8:
Do you have the new driver installed ?

Sure, and I use legitimate FTDI parts & so I have 0 issues (actually I use Linux so it's a non-issue)

To be clear, I am trolling you. BUT the fact remains this is a problem that the 'build it cheap in China' movement has brought on it's own head. A couple of dozen butt-hurt makers isn't going to make a fig of difference to FTDI and if you think otherwise then you're a fool

Yeah, this is a good old fashioned internet flame war - bring it!  >:D

Hehe, here is yout fish <°))))><

Maybee you're right, but who do you think is developing all this professional hardware shit ? Many of them are hobbyists that makes a job out of their hobby. And what will they use ? The parts that they know, the parts that they used at home too.
Who would use windows if there wasn't years where M$ never done anything against piracy on private pc's ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 22, 2014, 09:34:43 pm
You know what I would like to know? Up to what level in management of FTDI this "feature" in the driver software was sanctioned. For all we know this shitstorm ends up in the press and next monday the responsible FTDI engineer and supervisor who thought this was a clever idea are fired with a new software driver on the way. Reputation damage is already done.

It doesn't matter, the only time people up the top "Didn't know about this until I saw it on TV" get away with this is if they're government. If it's a corporation of any kind, the guys at the top will be taken to the ringer just the same (as they should).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:35:57 pm
Putting on a TFH, I would not be surprised if KRP8 is not a Social Media Damage Control expert/consultant. FTDI Chip makes an account and makes a single post; the board blasts them, so then comes in a new guy with no prior posts to call everyone who whines something along the lines of "negligible slime."

Nope, I'm an embedded engineer with 20+ years experience and a jaundiced view. You may even have heard of me in the hacking sceen
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 22, 2014, 09:38:09 pm
.. You may even have heard of me in the hacking sceen

First sign that someone is not, is when they make claims of what they are of this kind.

In your 20 years of embedded, was the end user Consumer or Sci/Ind?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 09:39:54 pm
Go FTDI! It's about time someone made a stand. FTDI have been delivering innovative & quality products for years and deserve to be rewarded for their efforts. If they don't get paid then YOU don't get new parts to play with (have you checked out the FT800/1 parts? freaking awesome)

Oh I must say, the chinese copies works very well too :D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:42:52 pm
Hehe, here is yout fish <°))))><

Maybee you're right, but who do you think is developing all this professional hardware shit ? Many of them are hobbyists that makes a job out of their hobby. And what will they use ? The parts that they know, the parts that they used at home too.
Who would use windows if there wasn't years where M$ never done anything against piracy on private pc's ?

And many thanks ofr the fish. The thing is, FTDI (and others) deliver quality parts for use by industry. They help out the hobbyist scene by delivering hobby friendly parts - When the FT232 was first released there was a a DIP adapter board for 10 - 20 GBP (cant remember the exact price) available to everyone direct from FTDI. I used a bunch of these for various projects

We, the community, have repaid FTDI by gleefully buying shitty clones from China (even if we 'didnt know') for a buck less, then we start a shitstorm because FTDi protect themselves? Piss poor IMHO

Want new, innovative, exciting devices? Pay the fricking price & be grateful.

Troll
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:44:44 pm
.. You may even have heard of me in the hacking sceen

First sign that someone is not, is when they make claims of what they are of this kind.

In your 20 years of embedded, was the end user Consumer or Sci/Ind?

well, I sure havent heard of you

Your troll is eating - brb
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 09:51:08 pm

And many thanks ofr the fish. The thing is, FTDI (and others) deliver quality parts for use by industry. They help out the hobbyist scene by delivering hobby friendly parts - When the FT232 was first released there was a a DIP adapter board for 10 - 20 GBP (cant remember the exact price) available to everyone direct from FTDI. I used a bunch of these for various projects

We, the community, have repaid FTDI by gleefully buying shitty clones from China (even if we 'didnt know') for a buck less, then we start a shitstorm because FTDi protect themselves? Piss poor IMHO


We don't start a shitstorm because FTDI protect themselves. They can't protect them in this way (Chinese are like the Borg, they will adapt). We start a shitstorm because we don't like the way how they try to protect themsselves. Maybee with a warning message and the move not to VID 0000 (i read that there are some issues to run a driver on some OS at 0000) but to FFFF, this could be another thing....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 09:56:40 pm
Again

-FTDI have no chance of combating Chinese cloners

-If the driver displayed a message box, 99.9% of users would click cancel and ignore it

FTDI have delivered innovative products that have enabled the maker community. You have your knickers in a bunch because they ar eprotecting their IP. If they didn't protect themsellves there would be NO MORE new FTDI products and that would SUCK FOR EVERYONE 

Too bad if you got burned in the short term, in the long term you will win

Want to complain? Go after the cloners and resellers, tell them how pissed you are 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 09:59:58 pm
If the driver recognizes that it is not a real ftdi chip it should not work plain and simple. Maybe a message ox why it does not work and contact your seller or something similar but i agree that the ftdi driver should not work with the fake chip.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:05:50 pm
If the driver recognizes that it is not a real ftdi chip it should not work plain and simple. Maybe a message ox why it does not work and contact your seller or something similar but i agree that the ftdi driver should not work with the fake chip.

And in the Chinglish instruction manual - step 3: click 'ignore' when whiny driver complains your product is a fake :S

If you guys really want to make a difference then why not start a white/blacklist of resellers?

10 pages of complaining and only 1 or 2 ppl posting who has fake/legit parts. sheesh
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 10:09:29 pm
FTDI have delivered innovative products that have enabled the maker community.
Just admit you are hired by FTDI for social media damage control. You have repeated this marketing buzz-words collection several times now. It doesn't work on engineers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: diyaudio on October 22, 2014, 10:10:29 pm
I really think Dave should make a short video on this.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 10:12:31 pm
FTDI have delivered innovative products that have enabled the maker community.
Just admit you are hired by FTDI for social media damage control. You have repeated this marketing buzz-words collection several times now. It doesn't work on engineers.
Haha no this guy is just a troll as he already stated. If he was hired for damage control he would not have added so much oil on the fire.
Lets all just email our local official FTDI for an quote for two chips and keep continuing till they ship it or go belly up.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:14:12 pm
Again

-FTDI have no chance of combating Chinese cloners

-If the driver displayed a message box, 99.9% of users would click cancel and ignore it

FTDI have delivered innovative products that have enabled the maker community. You have your knickers in a bunch because they ar eprotecting their IP. If they didn't protect themsellves there would be NO MORE new FTDI products and that would SUCK FOR EVERYONE 

Too bad if you got burned in the short term, in the long term you will win

Want to complain? Go after the cloners and resellers, tell them how pissed you are

Okay, its a good idea to destroy the reputation of a own product to destroy the market of clones. It's just like chemo therapie....
 :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 22, 2014, 10:15:13 pm
its not just 'makers'.  I am seeing a lot of design (product) engineers steer away from ftdi just to avoid any RISK of having this hit them.  unless you are a huge company, you cannot micromanage your offshore board builders.  sure, you spec in a real ftdi part; but the pcb makers who stuff your board will do what they want and unless you have a man on the ground, there, 7x24, you cannot be sure some fakes won't slip into the supply.
But any part in your design could be substituted with a fake. What makes the FTDI part so special, besides getting immediate and visiable feedback that it's broken?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ploppity on October 22, 2014, 10:15:25 pm
It's not the first time. For example segger can damage counterfeit products of their own.  You can get them to work again by reflashing.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: madires on October 22, 2014, 10:16:19 pm
When the FTDI driver is installed you are agreeing the terms of use of FTDI`s device. Please note that FTDI`s driver licence agreement will be broken if used with counterfeit devices.
 :)

FTDI is violating German law by modifying clones to be unusable. It's an offence. It doesn't matter if that is stated in a licence agreement or whatever paper (it's simply invalid). You should have asked you lawyers first.  :palm:
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 22, 2014, 10:17:30 pm
its not just 'makers'.  I am seeing a lot of design (product) engineers steer away from ftdi just to avoid any RISK of having this hit them.  unless you are a huge company, you cannot micromanage your offshore board builders.  sure, you spec in a real ftdi part; but the pcb makers who stuff your board will do what they want and unless you have a man on the ground, there, 7x24, you cannot be sure some fakes won't slip into the supply.
But any part in your design could be substituted with a fake. What makes the FTDI part so special, besides getting immediate and visiable feedback that it's broken?

To me it is the possibility that even with a legit FTDI chip, an error in the driver can brick their own chips.  I'm putting something in my product that won't get disabled if the checks pass.  It is a risk, for zero gain for me.  I'm not taking a risk just for FTDI's gain. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:17:38 pm
FTDI have delivered innovative products that have enabled the maker community.
Just admit you are hired by FTDI for social media damage control. You have repeated this marketing buzz-words collection several times now. It doesn't work on engineers.

If I was I imagine I would get fired for saying: "Fucking freetard, neckbeard, makers can't see beyond the end of their noses"

So, here it is: You fucking freetard, neckbeard, makers can't see beyond the end of your noses. Not seen any evidence you are engineers either. Will that convince you?

Troll x

AHAHAHAHAHHAA.....okay, I think we should add 10 more pages to this thread, then it looks like a real big discussion and maybee FTDI pays you and maybee they change their driver too....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:17:55 pm
But any part in your design could be substituted with a fake. What makes the FTDI part so special, besides getting immediate and visiable feedback that it's broken?

FTDI parts are especially attractive to cloners - relatively expensive and easy to clone with lots of brand recognition
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 22, 2014, 10:18:06 pm
Time to sell FTDI stock if you have any.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:20:45 pm
Time to sell FTDI stock if you have any.

Y, but let's face it, you don't (or any other asset - emphasis on the ass - for that matter).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:21:03 pm

Okay, its a good idea to destroy the reputation of a own product to destroy the market of clones. It's just like chemo therapie....
 :-DD

Oooooh, the 'makers' are pissed :S

No, I'm amused. I like your trolling, its better than viewing TV this evening.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:23:13 pm
There is a strong flavour of 'the walking dead' in here....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 10:23:40 pm
its not just 'makers'.  I am seeing a lot of design (product) engineers steer away from ftdi just to avoid any RISK of having this hit them.  unless you are a huge company, you cannot micromanage your offshore board builders.  sure, you spec in a real ftdi part; but the pcb makers who stuff your board will do what they want and unless you have a man on the ground, there, 7x24, you cannot be sure some fakes won't slip into the supply.
But any part in your design could be substituted with a fake. What makes the FTDI part so special, besides getting immediate and visiable feedback that it's broken?

my point is that ftdi has shown themselves to be TOO self-serving, to the point of being caustic and dangerous.

companies, once proven that they act irresponsibly (to this level) would get blacklisted and never trusted again.  and if anyone else did this, their chips would also get blacklisted at the design level.  why even chance using parts from a company who treats their CUSTOMERS as 'disposable'?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 22, 2014, 10:24:22 pm
Oooooh, the 'makers' are pissed :S
Snooooore. ::) You keep recycling your inflamatory attempts. Come on, either troll properly or not at all. Not this haphazard faffing about.

Oh oh oh! An ass related ad hominem. Barely servicable, but I guess it'll have to do for now.

Alright, who's in charge of troll procurement? We seem to have gotten an inferior batch this week. :'(
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 22, 2014, 10:25:45 pm
No, I'm amused. I like your trolling, its better than viewing TV this evening.
Mmmh, okay-ish I suppose. I've seen better. But it's not the worst, I agree.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:26:11 pm
There is a strong flavour of 'the walking dead' in here....

Do you mean FTDI or the bricked clones ?  :-DD

P.S.:F**k, I don't find the zombie-smiley...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Lightages on October 22, 2014, 10:27:15 pm
I have read every message here. I have decided, as have others, to not buy anything that is or claims to be an FTDI product. I as an end use have no way of knowing if I am buying a genuine item embedded in a product. In some countries at least, I am sure that this activity by FTDI is illegal. Do I care about legality? Sometimes, but usually not as the legal system is set up to benefit those who have the most money to lobby the law makers.

Do I care about morality? Yes. Morality means doing no harm to others if at all possible and doing no harm to any innocent parties in any way. FTDI has stepped over that line. They harm those who are innocent and the guilty parties still get to sell their products. The counterfeiters are definitely in the wrong but effectively destroying the end user's device is just plain wrong. Disable the device driver? No problem. Inform the end user? No problem. You can't punish the end user just because the thieves are in a place where you can't punish them. If someone is knowingly using counterfeit parts or items, too bad for them.

But the end point is that FTDI has shot themselves in the foot. Legal and moral issues aside this is a disastrous move. The unwashed masses know nothing of what this really means and have no idea what they can do to fix any problems this might cause them. What will they do? They will do the only thing that is easy to understand. They will avoid all and any FTDI based or claimed products because NO ONE can be sure they will not buy a fake and then have a useless device. This is an example of lawyers being the usual idiots they are.  I will make sure anything I buy is claimed to not have any FTDI products inside. It is just a matter of practicality, not legal nor moral at this point.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:27:26 pm
Damn, I am forced to admit it, I am a fake Chinese clone troll. But this just reinforces my argument. If you want new, innovative trolling then you should buy your trolls from the original manufacturer.

Edit: No, a driver update won't get rid of me :D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:30:47 pm
I have read every message here. I have decided, as have others, to not buy anything that is or claims to be an FTDI product. I as an end use have no way of knowing if I am buying a genuine item embedded in a product. Legall, in some countries at least, I am sur ehtta this activity by FTDI is illegal. Do I care about legality? Sometimes, but usually not as the legal system is set up to benefit those who have the most money to lobby the law makers.

Do I care about morality? Yes. Morality to means doing no harm to others if at all possible and doing no harm to any innocent parties in any way. FTDI has stepped over that line. They harm those who are innocent and the guilty parties still get to sell their products. The counterfeiters are definitely in the wrong but effectively destroying the end user's device is just plain wrong. Disable the device driver? No problem. Inform the end user? No problem. You can't punish the end user just because the thieves are in a place you can't punish them. If someone is knowingly using counterfeit parts or items, too bad for them.

But the end point is that FTDI has shot themselves in the foot. Legal and moral issues aside this is a disastrous move. The unwashed masses know nothing of what this really means and have no idea what they can do to fix any problems this might cause them. What will they do? They will do the only thing that is easy to understand. They will avoid all and any FTDI based or claimed products because NO ONE can be sure they will not buy a fake and then have a useless device. This is an example of lawyers being the usual idiots they are. Buy FTDI. I will make sure anything I buy is claimed to not have any FTDI products inside. It is just a matter of practicality, not legal nor moral at this point.

Another pissed off maker, no one's going to care if you don't by another 10 chips..... Blah, lawyers, blah, take my business elsewhere, blah, I want the benefit without rewarding the creators of the IP ....

Fake troll

This user has been banned - no more reports please
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 10:32:26 pm
this forum needs a 'genuine troll' test and if the troll does not seem real, his ip addr gets set to all zeroes.

(#include "notsureifserious.jpg")
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: langwadt on October 22, 2014, 10:32:58 pm
But any part in your design could be substituted with a fake. What makes the FTDI part so special, besides getting immediate and visiable feedback that it's broken?

FTDI parts are especially attractive to cloners - relatively expensive and easy to clone with lots of brand recognition

And part of their good reputation was that they always worked. Where chips like like the prolific pl2303
only worked half the time, because they kept changing drivers to combat fakes

Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work

 

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:33:56 pm
Sort of like a Captcha for trolls.... "Enter your inflammatory opinion in this box"
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: flynnjs on October 22, 2014, 10:34:41 pm
The actions of issuing something that is labelled as a driver update which carries out
unauthorised modification of firmware on a computer device could well be a
violation of Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3)

As FTDI are a UK based company, they could well be in the shit as they've
pretty much admitted to doing it willfully, on Twitter.

FTDI, I know you're monitoring, so sort out your shit out otherwise I'll have
to put different devices in my products. Yes, I buy direct from FTDI so I'm
not even complaining this is burning me but I'm just not interested in doing
business with a corporation who behaves this way.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:34:49 pm
Damn, I am forced to admit it, I am a fake Chinese clone troll. But this just reinforces my argument. If you want new, innovative trolling then you should buy your trolls from the original manufacturer.

Oh, I knew it all along ! You want to troll FTDI with claiming that you're payd from FTDI to troll us as a fake chinese clone troll....or fake FTDI troll clone ? Wait.....fuck...no I don't know what I shall think..... :D


hmm....okay I try the patched linux driver.... :P
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:36:00 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work

Sure you do, buy them form a reputable reseller and not from 'dodgy chips r us' coz you want to save a buck - simples :D

Knock off troll
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Andlier on October 22, 2014, 10:36:19 pm
I'm looking forward to a video from Dave on this one!  :D

No more FTDI-cables and chips from now on, I heard prolific and silabs among others has alternatives.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 22, 2014, 10:39:11 pm
The actions of issuing something that is labelled as a driver update which carries out
unauthorised modification of firmware on a computer device could well be a
violation of Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3)

Or Criminal damage - seems like there is a deliberate intent to cause damage. The lwarning-in-the-license argument is null & void if it came with a Windows Update.
Maybe someone should ask Microsoft for their view on this....


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 10:39:33 pm
Time to sell FTDI stock if you have any.
And shares  O0
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:40:02 pm
The actions of issuing something that is labelled as a driver update which carries out
unauthorised modification of firmware on a computer device could well be a
violation of Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/section/3)

As FTDI are a UK based company, they could well be in the shit as they've
pretty much admitted to doing it willfully, on Twitter.

FTDI, I know you're monitoring, so sort out your shit out otherwise I'll have
to put different devices in my products. Yes, I buy direct from FTDI so I'm
not even complaining this is burning me but I'm just not interested in doing
business with a corporation who behaves this way.

Butt hurt maker with aspirations to be a lawyer! Woot, double troll points. No one cares, fuckwit

Oh, I knew it all along ! You want to troll FTDI with claiming that you're payd from FTDI to troll us as a fake chinese clone troll....or fake FTDI troll clone ? Wait.....fuck...no I don't know what I shall think..... :D

:D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nitro2k01 on October 22, 2014, 10:41:37 pm
Has anyone figured out what the driver does exactly? Does it do some magic to detect the fake chip, and then set the PID to 0? Or does it attempt to set the PID to 0, and that then fails on a real FTDI chip but works on a clone?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 10:41:58 pm
Hey,

why no one write a virus that sets the vids of all FTDI and clone chips to 0000 ??? :D
I'm sure that will be a giant chaos...MUAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAH.....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 10:42:21 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Tandy on October 22, 2014, 10:43:21 pm
FTDI have just killed their own business, here is why.

It doesn't matter what a few makers think but suddenly thousands of consumers are going to end up with a duff device. If it is under warranty they will expect a replacement and if not they are likely to complain and be reluctant to buy that vendors products again.

The vendor is enraged that they have to pick up the tab here and it is clearly FTDI who is at fault fur pulling such a stunt. In order not to get burnt by such a stupid stunt the vendor avoids putting FTDI chips in future products.

Don't forget to switch the lights off when you leave FTDI
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: flynnjs on October 22, 2014, 10:43:28 pm
No more FTDI-cables and chips from now on, I heard prolific and silabs among others has alternatives.

Er, Prolific were up to similar tricks, albeit less destructive. Just bluescreens IIRC.

I think the way forward here might be an open source firmware for a USB equiped microcontroller.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: welterde on October 22, 2014, 10:46:51 pm
Has anyone figured out what the driver does exactly? Does it do some magic to detect the fake chip, and then set the PID to 0? Or does it attempt to set the PID to 0, and that then fails on a real FTDI chip but works on a clone?

Hope he does a video about it.. perfect chance to use the USB protocol analyzer ;-)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 22, 2014, 10:51:22 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
But again, if your assembly house has a habit of slipping in parts sourced outside the supply chain, any part could be a fake. If you don't have the processes in place to either prevent it from happening, or catching it when it does, you're still screwed. Just hoping that the fakes perform close enough to the real thing is a terrible way of doing business.

On another note, I'm surprised the clone makers bothered to emulate the EEPROM functionality. Most products seem to use the default VID/PID.

I think the way forward here might be an open source firmware for a USB equiped microcontroller.
The usual USB vendor ID and driver signing requirements makes this a non-starter.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: flynnjs on October 22, 2014, 10:51:36 pm
Hahahah, good luck proving cockup vs conspiracy. You did reverse the driver and found evidence of intent right?

I don't need to. They pretty much admitted to doing it willfully on Twitter.
Also, if you read the CMA, it doesn't need "Intent". It can also apply to "recklessness".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: grumpydoc on October 22, 2014, 10:51:43 pm
Okay, its a good idea to destroy the reputation of a own product to destroy the market of clones. It's just like chemo therapie....
 :-DD
Sorry, in what way exactly is this like chemotherapy?

Lightages sums up my feelings well on the subject - I can honestly say that I will not now, knowingly, buy a product which claims to be an FTDI one because I cannot easily know whether I will get the genuine article. If the FTDI driver bricks it I can send it back and get (some of) my money back but why would I risk the hassle. I can see why they did this but it's totally a pyrrhic victory.

Oh and why is everyone assuming that the user would have the option of clicking "ignore" and the driver working anyway - surely you would inform the user "sorry the chip is not genuine" and just refuse to work after that.

OK, the savvy user will go back to an old version but to sabotage the hardware so that no driver will work with it - including the Linux ones - is just plain wrong.
This thread is currently going at ~100 views / minute.

I wonder if anyone from FTDI is following it, because it's the story of how people stopped using FTDI chips.

A new user called FTDI chip has already posted in this thread. FTDI don't care if people stop using clones of their chips.
They popped up and made one post, then disappeared (perhaps wisely).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 22, 2014, 10:55:04 pm
People assume that only hobbyists read and post here.
I'm responsible for the hardware designs of a company that sells hundreds of thousands of units per year.
I weekly see distributors and the reps of various chip manufacturers.

And I can tell you, there is no f***** way I'm going to let any FTDI chip enter our new designs anytime soon.

Why ? Here's why :
- Assume a distributor sells us 100K chips. Turns out they are fake, but we don't notice it right away and we produce boards with them. Remember, counterfeit parts have been found even in military devices, so don't expect normal companies to have 100% sure supply chains !
- A few months later, FTDI updates it driver to brick the devices.
- We start getting RMAs and find out it's because of the FTDI driver

I can tell you our lawyers are going to have lots of fun in court if this is to happen.

FTDI cannot expect people to buy only from their "authorized" distributers. This is a free market.
So I'm not going to take the risk of this happening and I'll switch to another manufacturer. Simple as that.
I have absolutely no way to be absolutely sure I haven't been sold a fake. So I cannot take the risk.

I can also tell you I will send an e-mail tomorrow to our FTDI distributor asking for an explanation of the situation.

I hope this will be a nice example to others companies of what can happen if you engage in that sort of "fighting".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 10:57:21 pm
Hahahah, good luck proving cockup vs conspiracy. You did reverse the driver and found evidence of intent right?

I don't need to. They pretty much admitted to doing it willfully on Twitter.
Also, if you read the CMA, it doesn't need "Intent". It can also apply to "recklessness".

I guess the answer would be: We didn't test with clone XXX true, but guess what? It stopped working, who knew that would happen? Bummer and now all the cheap ass makers are pissed. Better issue a  profit warning coz sales will be down by, oooohh, 100s of units next year

Good luck
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: popgruel on October 22, 2014, 10:57:52 pm
Does anyone have more details on this - which driver versions zero out the PID, which ones don't?

Maybe some USB packet traces using http://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/USB, (http://wiki.wireshark.org/CaptureSetup/USB,) to compare communications with counterfeit and genuine chips?

Thanks
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 22, 2014, 10:59:44 pm
FTDI have just killed their own business, here is why.

<snip>

The vendor is enraged that they have to pick up the tab here and it is clearly FTDI who is at fault fur pulling such a stunt. In order not to get burnt by such a stupid stunt the vendor avoids putting FTDI chips in future products.

Some of the logic in this thread is astounding. The only vendors going to be burnt by this are the ones that were already avoiding putting genuine FTDI chips in their products.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:01:07 pm
I'm responsible for the hardware designs of a company that sells hundreds of thousands of units per year.
I weekly see distributors and the reps of various chip manufacturers.

Seems unlikely

I can tell you our lawyers are going to have lots of fun in court if this is to happen.

Well, they will send you a big bill anyway

I have absolutely no way to be absolutely sure I haven't been sold a fake. So I cannot take the risk.

Erm, buy from FTDI China?

I can also tell you I will send an e-mail tomorrow to our FTDI distributor asking for an explanation of the situation.

Get help with the grammar

Trolley
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:01:21 pm
Okay, its a good idea to destroy the reputation of a own product to destroy the market of clones. It's just like chemo therapie....
 :-DD
Sorry, in what way exactly is this like chemotherapy?


Thats simple. Destroy a body with poison and hope that the cancer cells die before the rest of the body. Destroy the reputation of a manufacturer to the point never want to buy from it, and hope the clone makers don't are interested again....

Do I mentioned that chemo therapie isn't a really good method to fight cancer ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 11:02:01 pm
I see a new meme coming out of this:

"it was working yesterday.  hmmm.  maybe the vendor FTDI'd me via a windows update..."

;)

FTDI (verb):
1) to willingly destroy end-user's hardware in an attempt to teach said user a lesson.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: langwadt on October 22, 2014, 11:03:59 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc. 

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AlfBaz on October 22, 2014, 11:08:39 pm
Hmmm, there might be a quick buck in this. I'll have to place an add in tomorrows paper "Has one of your USB devices suddenly stopped working?" >:D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:10:15 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc.

Maybee we could wieght it. It worked with the chinese wlan equiped flatirons :D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 11:12:41 pm
"if this ftdi chip weighs as much as a duck ...."

(lol)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:12:48 pm
hey kpr8 !

Do you fear that FTDI can't pay you tomorrow because of lawyer problems ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Lightages on October 22, 2014, 11:14:30 pm
I have read every message here. I have decided, as have others, to not buy anything that is or claims to be an FTDI product. I as an end use have no way of knowing if I am buying a genuine item embedded in a product. Legall, in some countries at least, I am sur ehtta this activity by FTDI is illegal. Do I care about legality? Sometimes, but usually not as the legal system is set up to benefit those who have the most money to lobby the law makers.

Do I care about morality? Yes. Morality to means doing no harm to others if at all possible and doing no harm to any innocent parties in any way. FTDI has stepped over that line. They harm those who are innocent and the guilty parties still get to sell their products. The counterfeiters are definitely in the wrong but effectively destroying the end user's device is just plain wrong. Disable the device driver? No problem. Inform the end user? No problem. You can't punish the end user just because the thieves are in a place you can't punish them. If someone is knowingly using counterfeit parts or items, too bad for them.

But the end point is that FTDI has shot themselves in the foot. Legal and moral issues aside this is a disastrous move. The unwashed masses know nothing of what this really means and have no idea what they can do to fix any problems this might cause them. What will they do? They will do the only thing that is easy to understand. They will avoid all and any FTDI based or claimed products because NO ONE can be sure they will not buy a fake and then have a useless device. This is an example of lawyers being the usual idiots they are. Buy FTDI. I will make sure anything I buy is claimed to not have any FTDI products inside. It is just a matter of practicality, not legal nor moral at this point.

Another pissed off maker, no one's going to care if you don't by another 10 chips..... Blah, lawyers, blah, take my business elsewhere, blah, I want the benefit without rewarding the creators of the IP ....

Fake troll

I won't insult you if you don't insult me. Fake troll? WTF?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:14:52 pm
Dont know what you're talking about? Not sure what's going on? Don't let that stop you! Pop down to your local Internet forum and have a 'reckon'

USB hosts don't have anyway to measure current consumption. At the risk of being an idiot I am going to have a 'reckon' that there is a vendor specific command to set the VID and genuine FTDI parts (as approved by Jesus and Steve Jobs) ignore cmds with a VID of 0000
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:15:51 pm
"if this ftdi chip weighs as much as a duck ...."

(lol)

"... then a little chineses people is puttet in."
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:17:24 pm
hey kpr8 !

Do you fear that FTDI can't pay you tomorrow because of lawyer problems ?

I'm cheap, just like a good Chinese clone

I won't insult you if you don't insult me. Fake troll? WTF?

You insult my sense of fair play & justice. That is enough to make you the target of my fearsome trolling powers

Trollster
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:20:26 pm
hey kpr8 !

Do you fear that FTDI can't pay you tomorrow because of lawyer problems ?

I'm cheap, just like a good Chinese clone

Trollster

Oh, okay, I understand. FTDI is so down that they can't buy more than you. And I hoped to get a big chinese troll army...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:25:02 pm
Y, I just heard the 'makers' over at hackaday are boycotting FTDI and now sales are down by 10, possibly 11 chips this year so they had to fire their marketing dept. Sorry Internet you will have to make do with me

T
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:26:38 pm
Y, I just heard the 'makers' over at hackaday are boycotting FTDI and now sales are down by 10, possibly 11 chips this year so they had to fire their marketing dept. Sorry Internet you will have to make do with me

T

 :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 11:26:52 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc.
Are you so sure that there won't be difference. As I played with usb, even signal from different usb controllers within the same motherboard looked noticeably different (low an full speed). As this is not high speed USB, there shouldn't be any issue to test it. As of LEDs and else on the board. This is not about testing already made devices but screening incoming parts on the test jig/breakout board.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Lightages on October 22, 2014, 11:27:22 pm
I am sorry I reacted to this. KPR8 has joined only to comment on this thread and has posted nowhere else. Sorry for feeding him.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 11:30:53 pm
how long before real virus writers latch onto this idea and brick REAL ftdi chips?

I am betting it will happen.  just a matter of when.

actually, I've never had a virus break hardware.  but it seems I have had legit companies brick hardware that they had no rights to..

willful destruction of other peoples' property.  really hard to believe ftdi didn't check their legal dept before pulling this boner of a stunt.

if I did own ftdi stock, I'd be selling it all now.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 22, 2014, 11:31:08 pm
Seems unlikely

Based on what ?
I only wanted to highlight that not only hobbyists are present on this forum.

I can tell you our lawyers are going to have lots of fun in court if this is to happen.

Well, they will send you a big bill anyway

Probably lower than replacing 100K devices. If what I described happens, we'll try to get FTDI pay for the devices they bricked.

I have absolutely no way to be absolutely sure I haven't been sold a fake. So I cannot take the risk.

Erm, buy from FTDI China?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148527/Flood-counterfeit-parts-China-used-U-S-military-gear--compromise-national-security-raise-defence-costs.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148527/Flood-counterfeit-parts-China-used-U-S-military-gear--compromise-national-security-raise-defence-costs.html)

If the military can't protect themselves from counterfeit parts, I can't be sure I'm protected too.
I do not have any way to know where the parts come from, apart from trusting my distributors.

I can also tell you I will send an e-mail tomorrow to our FTDI distributor asking for an explanation of the situation.

Get help with the grammar

The fact that I'm not an english speaker does not remove my ability to contribute to this forum.
It is really a pity you attack me on the grammar.

Trolley

My posts adds more value than yours. Get a life.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nitro2k01 on October 22, 2014, 11:33:03 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc.
Are you so sure that there won't be difference. As I played with usb, even signal from different usb controllers within the same motherboard looked noticeably different (low an full speed). As this is not high speed USB, there shouldn't be any issue to test it. As of LEDs and else on the board. This is not about testing already made devices but screening incoming parts on the test jig/breakout board.
If the FTDI driver can detect fake chips, then a test jig can likely use the same method and do it without going low level (electrical characteristics.)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: duncan_bayne on October 22, 2014, 11:33:16 pm
I reported this to Microsoft via their security vulnerability channels (figuring that a driver that intentionally bricked hardware, and shipped through Windows Update, constituted a security vulnerability).

Anyway, after some initial shenanigans (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8495716) I got through to their security folks who were very helpful.  Apparently they don't consider it a security problem, but they're aware of it and are investigating already.  I hope they're going to come down on FTDI like a ton of bricks for this.  Especially as end-users will blame Microsoft: "I had a working device, then Windows Update ran, and now it's dead, and it's out of warranty ... "
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 22, 2014, 11:34:40 pm
how long before real virus writers latch onto this idea and brick REAL ftdi chips?


Hey that was my idea some pages ago !! ;P
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: BartManInNZ on October 22, 2014, 11:34:54 pm
So has anyone actually identified the Windows Update that introduced the updated driver?
Seems to me that removing this should restore the previous driver preventing the issue- has anyone tested this?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 22, 2014, 11:36:14 pm
If the FTDI driver can detect fake chips, then a test jig can likely use the same method and do it without going low level (electrical characteristics.)

Realistically a company is not going to modify its production test jigs to check for the authenticity of the parts they use, especially because they may not know they are being shipped counterfeit parts until it's too late (= driver modification bricking the chips). You can't detect something you are not looking for.

What FTDI did is nonsense.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 11:38:37 pm
I'm still hoping that someone has a link to the last GOOD ftdi driver.  I'd like to capture it and save it, plus blacklist the MS patch so that it won't ever happen on any other windows box I admin, ever again.

if someone who has a windows background could create a simple .bat file that will blacklist/block this particular windows update, that would be a great service to us all.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: kolonelkadat on October 22, 2014, 11:38:57 pm
I wonder if this is the "revenge shot" of a dead/dieing company. I dunno. It seems like more and more companies are abandoning hardware production as theres just no money in it with chinese slave labor being what it is.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: senso on October 22, 2014, 11:40:28 pm
Just seen this, I have a iTead FOCA and all it does is spitting out <0>'s in the terminal program, got me puzzled about how I was failing so bad in the UART code of the MCU, turned out to be a fake chip and recent drivers(this happened more than a month ago).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:40:47 pm
Seems unlikely
Based on what ?
I only wanted to highlight that not only hobbyists are present on this forum.

Experience

I can tell you our lawyers are going to have lots of fun in court if this is to happen.

Well, they will send you a big bill anyway

Probably lower than replacing 100K devices. If what I described happens, we'll try to get FTDI pay for the devices they bricked.


And you will fail 100% not FTDI's fault

I have absolutely no way to be absolutely sure I haven't been sold a fake. So I cannot take the risk.

Erm, buy from FTDI China?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148527/Flood-counterfeit-parts-China-used-U-S-military-gear--compromise-national-security-raise-defence-costs.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148527/Flood-counterfeit-parts-China-used-U-S-military-gear--compromise-national-security-raise-defence-costs.html)

If the military can't protect themselves from counterfeit parts, I can't be sure I'm protected too.
I do not have any way to know where the parts come from, apart from trusting my distributors.


FTDI China's contact details are at the end of official FTDI datasheets, pretty sure they are legit. They also do their due diligence when you apply to buy from them, they dont sell to brokers for fear of feeding the counterfeit market


I can also tell you I will send an e-mail tomorrow to our FTDI distributor asking for an explanation of the situation.

Get help with the grammar

The fact that I'm not an english speaker does not remove my ability to contribute to this forum.
It is really a pity you attack me on the grammar.


My bad


My posts adds more value than yours. Get a life.

Only in your opinion
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:43:52 pm
I reported this to Microsoft via their security vulnerability channels ... I got through to their security folks who were very helpful.  Apparently they don't consider it a security problem, but they're aware of it and are investigating already. 

don't consider it a security problem

I hope they're going to come down on FTDI like a ton of bricks for this. 

Y, M$ hate when ppl protect their IP

Troll
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 22, 2014, 11:45:08 pm
what facts do you dispute or question?

today, after reading this, I uninstalled  the ftdi update on my win7 box, but it was too late.  the driver was still mem-resident and when I plugged in a test dongle that I bought from amazon, it zeroed out the pid.  I confirmed it by plugging it into a linux box and looking at /var/log/syslog.  sure enough, the pid is all 0's and was NOT all 0's before (I had used that dongle on both win and linux just recently).

none of that is opinion.  not sure what else you need, but people are not making this up..

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 22, 2014, 11:45:51 pm
If the FTDI driver can detect fake chips, then a test jig can likely use the same method and do it without going low level (electrical characteristics.)

Realistically a company is not going to modify its production test jigs to check for the authenticity of the parts they use, especially because they may not know they are being shipped counterfeit parts until it's too late (= driver modification bricking the chips). You can't detect something you are not looking for.

What FTDI did is nonsense.
If the company buys parts from shady sources and do not make proper screening they can blame only themselves.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: langwadt on October 22, 2014, 11:47:35 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc.
Are you so sure that there won't be difference. As I played with usb, even signal from different usb controllers within the same motherboard looked noticeably different (low an full speed). As this is not high speed USB, there shouldn't be any issue to test it. As of LEDs and else on the board. This is not about testing already made devices but screening incoming parts on the test jig/breakout board.
If the FTDI driver can detect fake chips, then a test jig can likely use the same method and do it without going low level (electrical characteristics.)

The FTDI driver will be using some undocumented feature in the chip, so only FTDI could build that test

If the feature was documented the fakers would have implemented it, it's not like it is rocket science to make a usb microcontroller behave like an FTDI but you can only implement the stuff you know about
 


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:51:23 pm
Unless you have an xray machine you have no way of knowing if it is fake, you can just see that chip with a certain name on the top doesn't work
I think that oscilloscope on usb lines probably would do. As the fake chip might even not have a proper USB hardware, rise times might be quiet different. Also there could be a lot of jitter. Measuring current consumption would tell a lot too.

The fakes chip is probably use some kind of usb microcontroller, there will be no difference on the USB lines
Any difference in the current consumption could easily drown in what ever else is on the board, LEDs etc.
Are you so sure that there won't be difference. As I played with usb, even signal from different usb controllers within the same motherboard looked noticeably different (low an full speed). As this is not high speed USB, there shouldn't be any issue to test it. As of LEDs and else on the board. This is not about testing already made devices but screening incoming parts on the test jig/breakout board.
If the FTDI driver can detect fake chips, then a test jig can likely use the same method and do it without going low level (electrical characteristics.)

The FTDI driver will be using some undocumented feature in the chip, so only FTDI could build that test

If the feature was documented the fakers would have implemented it, it's not like it is rocket science to make a usb microcontroller behave like an FTDI but you can only implement the stuff you know about

In your dreams dofus, the cloners will do 'just enough' to make the PoS chip work. 10-1 this is the set VID/PID command and it so happens the genuine parts reject a PID of 0000 but the clones don't. The cloners never saw that cmd and so never implemented a check for it.

Dont make me get my USB analyser out...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 22, 2014, 11:51:32 pm
what facts do you dispute or question?

today, after reading this, I uninstalled  the ftdi update on my win7 box, but it was too late.  the driver was still mem-resident and when I plugged in a test dongle that I bought from amazon, it zeroed out the pid.  I confirmed it by plugging it into a linux box and looking at /var/log/syslog.  sure enough, the pid is all 0's and was NOT all 0's before (I had used that dongle on both win and linux just recently).
Same here:
[89593.509194] usb 2-4.2.4: new full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 36
[89593.979468] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=0000
[89593.979472] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[89593.979475] usb 2-4.2.4: Product: FT232R USB UART
[89593.979477] usb 2-4.2.4: Manufacturer: FTDI
[89593.979480] usb 2-4.2.4: SerialNumber: A961PFBR
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: duncan_bayne on October 22, 2014, 11:56:44 pm
Y, M$ hate when ppl protect their IP

Troll

I'm a professional programmer who co-founded a company that sold a Windows-based DRM system for protecting revenue from software sales.  I'm totally okay with companies protecting their intellectual property; for a while I was making a living from doing just that.

But, to be clear, bricking third-party hardware is malicious.  This driver is malware by any reasonable definition of the term.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 22, 2014, 11:59:59 pm
Turns out there are sane ppl on Hackaday:

Andres R (@TheFakeAndres) says:
October 22, 2014 at 11:49 am

Buy counterfeit equipment, deal with counterfeit problems.
Didn’t know you bought a piece of equipment that was counterfeit and infringed on IP, trademark and licensing? Now you know, because FTDI just brought it to your attention by taking back their licensing right – device isn’t bricked as in unrepairable, they just removed one of the infringing portions that they could change (using the driver that you installed, gave permission). Do people want to start signing EULAs for drivers now? No. So either know what you are installing (research) or just deal with it.

Who would have thunk?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 23, 2014, 12:00:24 am
Realistically a company is not going to modify its production test jigs to check for the authenticity of the parts they use, especially because they may not know they are being shipped counterfeit parts until it's too late (= driver modification bricking the chips). You can't detect something you are not looking for.

The driver did not brick anything. FTDI drivers now refuse to work with non-FTDI chips and made it retrospective.

You bought chips with no drivers, you were using the chips with stolen drivers and now you are bitching at the owner of the drivers because they took them back. FTDI will tell you that if you want to use someone else's chips then use someone else's drivers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 12:00:43 am
what facts do you dispute or question?

today, after reading this, I uninstalled  the ftdi update on my win7 box, but it was too late.  the driver was still mem-resident and when I plugged in a test dongle that I bought from amazon, it zeroed out the pid.  I confirmed it by plugging it into a linux box and looking at /var/log/syslog.  sure enough, the pid is all 0's and was NOT all 0's before (I had used that dongle on both win and linux just recently).

none of that is opinion.  not sure what else you need, but people are not making this up..

I'd like to see the driver reprogramming the chip to set all 0's and/or the chip read before AND after that reveals the internal contents. Just because a driver for some as yet unknown reason fails to read the PID from the chip correctly and hence is unable to set the value in the OS control blocks from something other than the initialised 0's, doesn't leave the only remaining possibility that the chip is bricked.
I have one left (the rest of the boards I bought are still on a boat) so here it goes:
Before:
[178302.833023] usb 2-4.2.4: new full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 43
[178303.303679] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=6001
[178303.303683] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[178303.303686] usb 2-4.2.4: Product: FT232R USB UART
[178303.303688] usb 2-4.2.4: Manufacturer: FTDI
[178303.303690] usb 2-4.2.4: SerialNumber: A9U5PFN7
[178303.303779] usb 2-4.2.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
[178303.350681] ftdi_sio 2-4.2.4:1.0: FTDI USB Serial Device converter detected
[178303.350702] usb 2-4.2.4: Detected FT232RL
[178303.350705] usb 2-4.2.4: Number of endpoints 2
[178303.350707] usb 2-4.2.4: Endpoint 1 MaxPacketSize 64
[178303.350710] usb 2-4.2.4: Endpoint 2 MaxPacketSize 64
[178303.350712] usb 2-4.2.4: Setting MaxPacketSize 64
[178303.351059] usb 2-4.2.4: FTDI USB Serial Device converter now attached to ttyUSB1

After:
[178453.772118] usb 2-4.2.4: reset full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 43
[178454.052482] usb 2-4.2.4: device firmware changed
[178454.053230] usb 2-4.2.4: USB disconnect, address 43
[178454.127953] usb 2-4.2.4: new full speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 44
[178454.602228] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=0000
[178454.602231] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[178454.602233] usb 2-4.2.4: Product: FT232R USB UART
[178454.602234] usb 2-4.2.4: Manufacturer: FTDI
[178454.602236] usb 2-4.2.4: SerialNumber: A9U5PFN7
[178454.602314] usb 2-4.2.4: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:01:09 am
what facts do you dispute or question?

today, after reading this, I uninstalled  the ftdi update on my win7 box, but it was too late.  the driver was still mem-resident and when I plugged in a test dongle that I bought from amazon, it zeroed out the pid.  I confirmed it by plugging it into a linux box and looking at /var/log/syslog.  sure enough, the pid is all 0's and was NOT all 0's before (I had used that dongle on both win and linux just recently).

none of that is opinion.  not sure what else you need, but people are not making this up..

I'd like to see the driver reprogramming the chip to set all 0's and/or the chip read before AND after that reveals the internal contents. Just because a driver for some as yet unknown reason fails to read the PID from the chip correctly and hence is unable to set the value in the OS control blocks from something other than the initialised 0's, doesn't leave the only remaining possibility that the chip is bricked.

I have a few more ftdi 'fakes' that came from the same amazon vendor.

I guess, for those doubting thomas' out there, I could create a video of a 'clean' win7 box working with the fake chip, then doing a win update, plugging the dongle in again, viewing its properties dialog and showing the vendor/product id's.  even taking that dongle out, moving it to a linux box and capturing the /var/log/syslog.

but that's a lot of effort and honestly, I'm not sure anyone really doubts that this is what is really happening.

the moon landing, that was fake. but this chip bricking is real, mate.

(semi lol)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 23, 2014, 12:06:04 am
But, to be clear, bricking third-party hardware is malicious.  This driver is malware by any reasonable definition of the term.

For what value of malicious? I'm really OK with FTDI bricking clone HW but I source my FTDI chips from sustainable sources (ie the genuine parts from the genuine mfr and that revenue goes to creating cool new chips for the next generation of angry butt hurt neckbeard makers)

I dont see how you can complain if your knock off hardware gets killed

Troll

User has been banned - no more reports please
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 23, 2014, 12:08:00 am
what facts do you dispute or question?

today, after reading this, I uninstalled  the ftdi update on my win7 box, but it was too late.  the driver was still mem-resident and when I plugged in a test dongle that I bought from amazon, it zeroed out the pid.  I confirmed it by plugging it into a linux box and looking at /var/log/syslog.  sure enough, the pid is all 0's and was NOT all 0's before (I had used that dongle on both win and linux just recently).

none of that is opinion.  not sure what else you need, but people are not making this up..

I'd like to see the driver reprogramming the chip to set all 0's and/or the chip read before AND after that reveals the internal contents. Just because a driver for some as yet unknown reason fails to read the PID from the chip correctly and hence is unable to set the value in the OS control blocks from something other than the initialised 0's, doesn't leave the only remaining possibility that the chip is bricked.

I have a few more ftdi 'fakes' that came from the same amazon vendor.

I guess, for those doubting thomas' out there, I could create a video of a 'clean' win7 box working with the fake chip, then doing a win update, plugging the dongle in again, viewing its properties dialog and showing the vendor/product id's.  even taking that dongle out, moving it to a linux box and capturing the /var/log/syslog.

but that's a lot of effort and honestly, I'm not sure anyone really doubts that this is what is really happening.

the moon landing, that was fake. but this chip bricking is real, mate.

(semi lol)

Name the vendor, complain to Amazon, get rid of the cloned crap (report me to a mod while you're at it!)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Carrington on October 23, 2014, 12:11:48 am
New Hit: FTDI driver killed the FTDI clone.
Album: The age of silicon.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.  ;D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 12:13:46 am
That MY point. No-one is collecting actual evidence. It is easier to just take up massive amounts of threadspace with opinions and speculation.
The possible cause of the problem I saw was quite clear to me and the 6th reply points to a thread on another forum where people have discovered the productid gets programmed to 0. What else is there to proof after my previous post which shows the productid is suddenly 0 after the device has been connected to Windows machine which uses the latest FTDI drivers (V2.12).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:14:41 am
possible link to older firmware and some instructions on use:

http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2iktoz/how_to_fix_arduino_knockoffs_serial_port_driver/ (http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2iktoz/how_to_fix_arduino_knockoffs_serial_port_driver/)

I will probably try this on my own win7 box (after doing a full backup, first, of course.  wish I had a full backup of my win7 system BEFORE I accepted the MS update, sigh)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 23, 2014, 12:16:06 am
I dont see how you can complain if your knock off hardware gets killed
Would you feel the same way if the chip didn't say FTDI on it, but implemented their interface? Because this is legitimate reverse engineering. It's the only reason we have a commodity PC market, and it's something that should be encouraged. FTDI is of course not required to support such efforts, nor are they expected to be happy about it. However it certainly doesn't give them the legal or moral right to intentionally break their competitor's implementation permanently.

Bottom line, this is trademark infringement, and trademark infringement alone. Well perhaps copyright infringement as well, as they might ship the driver, but since it comes with Windows I'm not so sure about that... Either way it certainly doesn't warrant a malicious approach. This is Sony Rootkit levels of unjustified, malicious overkill.

Also, maybe wait a few minutes between posts rather than responding directly to every. single. post. Do you have nothing better to do than hang around this thread?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:17:44 am
New Hit: FTDI driver killed the FTDI clone.
Album: The age of silicon.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.  ;D

(in chechen voice)

"joker-man was right.  we must fix real problem.  we must kill the ftdi chips!"

;)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:20:44 am
That MY point. No-one is collecting actual evidence. It is easier to just take up massive amounts of threadspace with opinions and speculation.

Quote
the moon landing, that was fake. but this chip bricking is real, mate.

Not helping make your argument persuasive.

it seems your sense of humor has been uninstalled.  please do an update and return to the forum.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:23:00 am
New Hit: FTDI driver killed the FTDI clone.
Album: The age of silicon.
I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist.  ;D

Fish for the masses !!!!! :D

<°)))))><  <°)))))><  <°)))))><  <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))>< <°)))))><
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 12:23:14 am
I dont see how you can complain if your knock off hardware gets killed
Would you feel the same way if the chip didn't say FTDI on it, but implemented their interface? Because this is legitimate reverse engineering. It's the only reason we have a commodity PC market, and it's something that should be encouraged. FTDI is of course not required to support such efforts, nor are they expected to be happy about it. However it certainly doesn't give them the legal or moral right to intentionally break their competitor's implementation permanently.

Bottom line, this is trademark infringement, and trademark infringement alone.
It is just trademark infringement because the counterfeiters stamp the FTDI logo on their chips. If they put IDFT on it or something else and called the part number FT232 then they would operate in a perfectly legal way. There is a completely different chip inside which just mimics an existing chip. Much like AMD does with Intel. What if Intel would release a software update which kills all AMD CPUs?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 12:23:40 am
That MY point. No-one is collecting actual evidence. It is easier to just take up massive amounts of threadspace with opinions and speculation.

Quote
the moon landing, that was fake. but this chip bricking is real, mate.

Not helping make your argument persuasive.

it seems your sense of humor has been uninstalled.  please do an update and return to the forum.
After the update it turns out the sense of humour had been surgically removed.  ;D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:28:17 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 23, 2014, 12:28:27 am
I dont see how you can complain if your knock off hardware gets killed
Would you feel the same way if the chip didn't say FTDI on it, but implemented their interface? Because this is legitimate reverse engineering. It's the only reason we have a commodity PC market, and it's something that should be encouraged. FTDI is of course not required to support such efforts, nor are they expected to be happy about it. However it certainly doesn't give them the legal or moral right to intentionally break their competitor's implementation permanently.

Bottom line, this is trademark infringement, and trademark infringement alone. Well perhaps copyright infringement as well, as they might ship the driver, but since it comes with Windows I'm not so sure about that... Either way it certainly doesn't warrant a malicious approach. This is Sony Rootkit levels of unjustified, malicious overkill.

No, it's deliberate theft. The cloners are benefiting from the investment FTDI made without bearing any of the costs. Chips don't design themselves, drivers don't write themselves, drivers don't put themselves thru M$ approval, marketing doesn't do its self. Bottom line is FTDI invested huge amounts of money in the FT232 and Chinese fly-by-nights are benefiting from that without paying a penny.   

Also, maybe wait a few minutes between posts rather than responding directly to every. single. post. Do you have nothing better to do than hang around this thread?

Who are you? The thread Police?

I am honest enough to name myself the 'FTDI annoy neckbeard makers thread' troll and I have a reasoned argument (I hand out full on rudeness too). You are just another butt hurt wannabe maker who feels he deserves something for nothing
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 12:28:40 am
And in the Chinglish instruction manual - step 3: click 'ignore' when whiny driver complains your product is a fake :S

Firstly, I have *real* FTDI chips.  I am unaffected by this unless I have some device that I've not used for a while that (unbeknownst to me) contains a fake ftdi chip. (I often turn it on rather than take it apart -- sorry).

Second, I am well aware of intellectual property issues.  We rely on them to protect our income and *yes* we have been the target of a Chinese attempt to "piggyback" on our success via piracy.

However, it's not our customers that we punished.  I would be completely alright if the driver displayed a message that I could not dismiss for 30 seconds.  It would make me well aware that I had a fake, make long term operation impossible, but it would not completely cripple me in the time it took to rectify the problem.

What did we do to affected customers?  We offered them a valid licensed product at the normal price.  I'm almost completely sure that none of them knew they had a knockoff.  What we didn't do is penalise them for a mistake that they probably shouldn't have made, but did.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 23, 2014, 12:30:26 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!

Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

User is banned - please no more reports
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: gibbled on October 23, 2014, 12:33:52 am
FTDI

For Treacherous Driver Installation

 :)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:35:10 am
reminder: don't feed the trolls.

the forum has an 'ignore user' feature.  I suggest it be used here to good effect.

(oops, I accidentally ignored myself.  did I actually post, or did I just dream it?)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 23, 2014, 12:35:48 am
Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

KPR8, no school today?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:36:24 am
FTDI

For Treacherous Driver Installation

 :)

Fear The Duff Installation

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 12:43:46 am
If nothing else this sets a very dangerous precedent.
Crap like DRM is bad enough, but if this sort of behaviour is allowed (e.g. by Microsoft including it in updates), and is considered "acceptable", what next?
Printer bricked after using knock-off cartridge?
Hard disk wiped if MS discovers your license number is a copy?
Phone bricked after using a fake battery?

I would really like someone to get a comment from Microsoft on this, in particular whether or not they knew about it.

My guess is MS could end up at least, if not more legally liable than FTDI, as they didn't give the user any warning that their update would damage hardware.
Why would MS risk legal action to help a 3rd-party "protect" their own interests...? My guess is they didn't know, in which case all colours of crap may be hitting the fans soon.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: KPR8 on October 23, 2014, 12:45:24 am
Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

KPR8, no school today?

Nothing more pressing than baiting freetards that's for sure

Bed time in Troll-land and I wont be back (if you like you can pretend you won the argument)

Try and understand these basic facts tho:

-FTDI have been very 'maker' friendly in the past, releasing DIP adapter versions of their early chips
-If you chose unbelievably cheap versions of their products you can't complain when they turn out to be fake. Buy all 5 f your FTDI chips from RS
-FTDI have a right to protect their IP (I suspect they screwed this up tbh and it will be reversed shortly)
-If you buy cheap copies the IP provider _will_ go out of business == no more cool chips in the future
-2-3 dozen butt hurt neckbeards whining on a forum makes fuck all difference to a multi million dollar company
-Your Tarduino project is NOT going to be a product despite what Hackaday tell you ;)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:46:09 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!

Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

No ! Never ! The Force is strong with my one !
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Lightages on October 23, 2014, 12:50:20 am
All the moderators must be asleep.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on October 23, 2014, 12:51:51 am
Pls wake up.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:54:43 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!

Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

No ! Never ! The Force is strong with my one !

We have cake....

But I rather like pizza...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 12:55:38 am
Does anyone have more details on this - which driver versions zero out the PID, which ones don't?

I don't have any firm evidence that 2.12.0 is the version which introduced this issue, but the previous version from FTDI's web page (2.10.0) does not contain a licence file.

The licence file in 2.12.0 says (in part)

"1.5   The Software will not function properly on or with a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component.  Use of the Software as a driver for, or installation of the Software onto, a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component, including without limitation counterfeit components, MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT.  It is the Licensee's responsibility to make sure that all chips it installs the Software on, or uses the Software as a driver for, are Genuine FTDI Components.  If in doubt then contact the Licensor. "

Of course, if you had just followed the normal process for upgrading the driver (which is mostly automated and transparent to most users) you would not have seen this.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:55:48 am
If nothing else this sets a very dangerous precedent.
Crap like DRM is bad enough, but if this sort of behaviour is allowed (e.g. by Microsoft including it in updates), and is considered "acceptable", what next?
Printer bricked after using knock-off cartridge?
Hard disk wiped if MS discovers your license number is a copy?
Phone bricked after using a fake battery?

I used to be a panasonic camera (digicam) fan and owned quite a few of them.  then, one day, they decided to chip their batteries and the aftermarket ones stopped working.  we no longer had any choice in how much we would pay for camera li-ion batteries.  at that point, I stopped buying pany cams.

I've heard that the battery makers have worked around this, but I have given up on pany cams and won't ever come back.

pany doesn't care, of course.  but I just can't give pany my money, at least for cameras.

its a shame when a good vendor turns to the dark side.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 12:58:55 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!

Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

No ! Never ! The Force is strong with my one !

We have cake....

But I rather like pizza...

"I'd like to order a large pie, extra cheese and extra zero's, please."
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: duncan_bayne on October 23, 2014, 01:00:51 am
All the moderators must be asleep.

I'm new here, and was wondering if this forum is essentially unmoderated.  Certainly, there seems to be a troll infestation |O
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:01:27 am
Does anyone have more details on this - which driver versions zero out the PID, which ones don't?

I don't have any firm evidence that 2.12.0 is the version which introduced this issue, but the previous version from FTDI's web page (2.10.0) does not contain a licence file.

The licence file in 2.12.0 says (in part)

"1.5   The Software will not function properly on or with a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component.  Use of the Software as a driver for, or installation of the Software onto, a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component, including without limitation counterfeit components, MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT.  It is the Licensee's responsibility to make sure that all chips it installs the Software on, or uses the Software as a driver for, are Genuine FTDI Components.  If in doubt then contact the Licensor. "

Of course, if you had just followed the normal process for upgrading the driver (which is mostly automated and transparent to most users) you would not have seen this.

Okay, now is clear it's intentionally destruction of hardware, not accidently or anything else. I don't see any reason why we should spare FTDI. No new design with FTDI chips.

Im sure in Germany this is a crime, but I don't think any court will make anything for a 3$ usb-bridge.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:03:26 am
Breaking News: FTDI removes humor of makers through bad update !!!

Oooh, Krater, be careful, seems you are coming over to the dark side ;)

No ! Never ! The Force is strong with my one !

We have cake....

But I rather like pizza...

"I'd like to order a large pie, extra cheese and extra zero's, please."

I want a 2 between my 1's ans 0's !
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:06:07 am
All the moderators must be asleep.

I'm new here, and was wondering if this forum is essentially unmoderated.  Certainly, there seems to be a troll infestation |O

Sorry, normally we don't need moderation, but at this thread, what you are expect here ? We know that FTDI is doing shit, we know thats in the driver update, and we know it's doing just shit with chinese clones. Is there anything thats not sayd ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 01:08:22 am
All the moderators must be asleep.

I'm new here, and was wondering if this forum is essentially unmoderated.  Certainly, there seems to be a troll infestation |O

"dave's not here, man"

(but will probably wake up shortly).

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: duncan_bayne on October 23, 2014, 01:08:49 am
Okay, now is clear it's intentionally destruction of hardware, not accidently or anything else. I don't see any reason why we should spare FTDI. No new design with FTDI chips.

It's not just the terms and conditions, they're bragging about it on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FTDIChip/status/524918979840585729) ...

Quote
FTDI is definitely not targeting end users - if you're unsure if ICs are genuine then please don't use the drivers.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sleemanj on October 23, 2014, 01:13:55 am
yeh, it used to be cp21xx that had a bad reputation because there were so many fakes and they constantly updated the drivers to break them so it seemed the they never worked 


Are you sure you don't mean the Prolific chip (PL2303)? 

The CP21xx (Silabs), I don't recall there ever being any problems with breaking drivers or known fakes. 

But the Prolific's did have those issues, however I don't think they intentionally broke drivers, but just that the new drivers didn't work with the fake chips, and they didn't actually go out of their way to reprogram the chips as FTDI has done.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:18:15 am
Okay, now is clear it's intentionally destruction of hardware, not accidently or anything else. I don't see any reason why we should spare FTDI. No new design with FTDI chips.

It's not just the terms and conditions, they're bragging about it on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FTDIChip/status/524918979840585729) ...

Quote
FTDI is definitely not targeting end users - if you're unsure if ICs are genuine then please don't use the drivers.

I believe in the good in the mankind. Twitter can be hacked, updates not.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 23, 2014, 01:25:28 am
Okay, now is clear it's intentionally destruction of hardware, not accidently or anything else. I don't see any reason why we should spare FTDI. No new design with FTDI chips.

If a chip tells the operating system it is a specific FTDI part and requests it to load FTDI drivers for that part how the hell can FTDI be held responsible for anything their drivers do to a chip which isn't their part?

How could they possibly give assurances that their drivers will not damage chips over which they have no control?

Having established the chip wasn't the specific FTDI part it claimed to be you could argue correcting an invalid PID improved not damaged the part.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marshallh on October 23, 2014, 01:33:41 am
Anyone know if this affects deivces other than FT232?


I have a FT245 here that is probably fake, with external EEPROM. Not affected
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:38:40 am
Okay, now is clear it's intentionally destruction of hardware, not accidently or anything else. I don't see any reason why we should spare FTDI. No new design with FTDI chips.

If a chip tells the operating system it is a specific FTDI part and requests it to load FTDI drivers for that part how the hell can FTDI be held responsible for anything their drivers do to a chip which isn't their part?

How could they possibly give assurances that their drivers will not damage chips over which they have no control?

Having established the chip wasn't the specific FTDI part it claimed to be you could argue correcting an invalid PID improved not damaged the part.


Okay, if they added a function intentionally to brick chips that are not ftdi, than they responsible. It's not just a accident or incompatibility that damages the chip. The changes in license points to that they do it intentionally.
Its the same reason why you (in Germany) can't simply put landmines to your property and say "I've never sayd the kids should play on it...".

For my attitude of morality, they are responsible, and for german law(they sell in Germany) too. I can't say anything about other people or countries.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: EEVblog on October 23, 2014, 01:44:42 am
FYI KPR8 has been sent to the sin bin.

Wow, 1400 guests viewing this thread!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nitro2k01 on October 23, 2014, 01:52:59 am
Wow, 1400 guests viewing this thread!
Here's why: http://hackaday.com/2014/10/22/watch-that-windows-update-ftdi-drivers-are-killing-fake-chips/ (http://hackaday.com/2014/10/22/watch-that-windows-update-ftdi-drivers-are-killing-fake-chips/)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: c4757p on October 23, 2014, 01:55:00 am
/. too (http://hardware-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/10/22/185244/ftdi-reportedly-bricking-devices-using-competitors-chips)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 23, 2014, 01:55:59 am
It is a disaster here, hackaday and slashdot for FTDI.  And looks like they are prepared and planted a lot of trolls to go in for the offence.  But they can't bulldoze through because the converter chips are just too popular.  The whole orchestrated movement expose the FTDI as one of the worst companies.  It is more than a rookie's mistake by a fresh MBA that came in without knowing the impact.   
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 23, 2014, 02:06:58 am
Would you feel the same way if the chip didn't say FTDI on it, but implemented their interface? Because this is legitimate reverse engineering. It's the only reason we have a commodity PC market, and it's something that should be encouraged. FTDI is of course not required to support such efforts, nor are they expected to be happy about it. However it certainly doesn't give them the legal or moral right to intentionally break their competitor's implementation permanently.
:-+ The driver has absolutely no way of checking whether the chip says FTDI on it or not, so it cannot assume that every one that fails the "is it genuine" check (anyone here with a USB analyser and both the real and clone chips care to do some analysis on figuring out what exactly is the behavioural difference?) is illegally using the trademark and not just some generic brand.

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor_Chip_Protection_Act_of_1984#Reverse_engineering_not_prohibited (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor_Chip_Protection_Act_of_1984#Reverse_engineering_not_prohibited)
Quote
The SCPA permits competitive emulation of a chip by means of reverse engineering. The ordinary test for illegal copying (mask work infringement) is the "substantial similarity" test of copyright law,[7] but when the defense of reverse engineering is involved and supported by probative evidence (usually, the so-called paper trail of design and development work), the similarity must be greater.[8] Then, the accused chip topography must be substantially identical (truly copied by rote, so-called slavish copying), rather than just substantially similar, for the defendant to be liable for infringement.[9] Most world chip topography protection laws provide for a reverse engineering privilege.
The clone vs. real die pictures posted somewhere near the beginning of this thread shows that they're completely different, so it is a product of legal reverse-engineering. The clone doesn't even have any "FTDI" marking on the die.

Quote
Bottom line, this is trademark infringement, and trademark infringement alone. Well perhaps copyright infringement as well, as they might ship the driver, but since it comes with Windows I'm not so sure about that... Either way it certainly doesn't warrant a malicious approach. This is Sony Rootkit levels of unjustified, malicious overkill.
It's only trademark infringement when the chip is being sold with FTDI markings. If it's unmarked, or marked with any name other than FTDI, it does not infringe on FTDI's trademark.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Hardcorefs on October 23, 2014, 02:26:56 am

If someone has a fake, can you check the chips serial number(not the USBID number, not serial stored in external eeprom)?

Each of the chips has a unique serial number ( it can be read), it could be the fakes all have the same serial number because they were too lazy/cheap to laser cut / program it.

In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 02:28:52 am


In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.

The driver is signed, if you change anything it will not work again.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 02:30:01 am
It's only trademark infringement when the chip is being sold with FTDI markings. If it's unmarked, or marked with any name other than FTDI, it does not infringe on FTDI's trademark.

They're trying to make it a copyright/licensing issue (I think) via the new license "agreement" in their drivers.

Having said that, my reading suggests that at least some (perhaps many/most) fake chips are branded with FTDI.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mgaffigan on October 23, 2014, 02:35:26 am
I think the missed opportunity here is a license from FTDI for the low, low cost of $5 to continue using a counterfeit device...

Perhaps it's a break, then fix sort of thing.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 02:36:53 am

If someone has a fake, can you check the chips serial number(not the USBID number, not serial stored in external eeprom)?

Each of the chips has a unique serial number ( it can be read), it could be the fakes all have the same serial number because they were too lazy/cheap to laser cut / program it.

In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.

the various fakes that I've personally had all had non-null serial numbers.  its only the pid that was all 0's.

I had a long set of emails with one vendor (sunfounder is the name) on amazon who sold me one with all 0's.  I wrote an amazon review of it, he saw it (amazon probably reacted to my review and halted his sales) and the next few that I was sent by that vendor did NOT have 0's as the pid.  the vendor swears to me that he buys directly from ftdi and was trying his best to make the situation right again.  I can't tell, to be honest; was it amazon's halting of his sales that made him 'sorry' or was it sincere?  was the unit that I got a customer return who plugged it into windows and windows zero'd it out?  impossible to tell.

but all of the ones that I got had serial number strings that 'looked' reasonable.  only the PID was 0000.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 02:40:06 am
I think the missed opportunity here is a license available for the low, low cost of $5 to continue using a counterfeit device...

Perhaps it's a break, then fix sort of thing.

how would that work on linux?  linux has source-based code and you can't force a binary blob down (usually) and get away with it once the source is already out there.

you could stop the mac and windows users but linux lets users see and modify source code.  the vendor can't threaten linux users.  they probably knew this and so they (apparently) decided there was ONE 'fix' for all os's.  and I use the word 'fix' in the most non-literal sense.

then again, a linux driver update to ftdi_sio.[ch] may be coming soon that allows the 0000 pid.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: duncan_bayne on October 23, 2014, 02:46:52 am
Hacker News is sending traffic here too.  (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8493849)

And lobste.rs (https://lobste.rs/s/fi1h79/watch_that_windows_update_ftdi_drivers_are_killing_fake_chips).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mgaffigan on October 23, 2014, 02:47:54 am
I think the missed opportunity here is a license available for the low, low cost of $5 to continue using a counterfeit device...

Perhaps it's a break, then fix sort of thing.

how would that work on linux?  linux has source-based code and you can't force a binary blob down (usually) and get away with it once the source is already out there.

you could stop the mac and windows users but linux lets users see and modify source code.  the vendor can't threaten linux users.  they probably knew this and so they (apparently) decided there was ONE 'fix' for all os's.  and I use the word 'fix' in the most non-literal sense.

then again, a linux driver update to ftdi_sio.[ch] may be coming soon that allows the 0000 pid.

As you pointed out, the problem isn't on Linux.  I am sure the dev community will catch up to handle the new PID.  The most vocal set of users are those who bought an arduino or some other product which no longer works, and the current bitterness is that the device is not working.  It may be an unpopular opinion, but I do understand their issue with enforcement.  A popup box saying "Your product is counterfeit" doesn't accomplish anything but give the user some search terms to find a non-detecting version of the driver. 

Imagine instead of just bricking the device, you received a popup saying "Your product is counterfeit, please contact the manufacturer for RMA or purchase a license from FTDIStore.com."  You'd still be annoyed, but you'd probably pay the $5 so that you can continue using the $30 device.

That way, the OEM still is forced to purchase genuine parts, the user can continue using their device, and FTDI still gets revenue from a missed sale.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nitro2k01 on October 23, 2014, 02:54:38 am
In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.
The driver is signed, if you change anything it will not work again.
That's easy to bypass pretty easily if you're willing. (Assuming you're talking about Windows' signing and not some extra, homebrew signing by FTDI.)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 23, 2014, 02:57:02 am


In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.

The driver is signed, if you change anything it will not work again.
Quite naturally, there's a patch to disable that too, or resign with your own certificate (which you've installed as a trusted root.)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 02:59:45 am

Imagine instead of just bricking the device, you received a popup saying "Your product is counterfeit, please contact the manufacturer for RMA or purchase a license from FTDIStore.com."  You'd still be annoyed, but you'd probably pay the $5 so that you can continue using the $30 device.

That way, the OEM still is forced to purchase genuine parts, the user can continue using their device, and FTDI still gets revenue from a missed sale.

that would be the proper and ethical thing to do.

sadly, ftdi jumped before they thought it all out and we're now left with a meltdown.  will they double-down on their derp or will they change their stance and pull the damaging driver back and use a popup, like you (and others) have suggested?  my bet is that they will not budge and only if they are sued will they change their tune.  companies are like that, these days; they never want to admit that a decision they made was horribly wrong ;(
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vgkid on October 23, 2014, 03:02:33 am
This was only a couple of pages yesterday, now it is 20+ with over 1K visitors.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Knuckx on October 23, 2014, 03:08:14 am


In which case it would be an easy matter to do a search in the driver for that serial number and  mask it out.

The driver is signed, if you change anything it will not work again.
Quite naturally, there's a patch to disable that too, or resign with your own certificate (which you've installed as a trusted root.)

A Kernel Boot Configuration Option exists to disable signature checking, called TESTSIGNING.
You can't resign *that* easily though, as the system trusted root doesn't cover kernelmode, only things with a Microsoft cert somewhere in the certs chain of trust are trusted in kernelmode.

As for what FTDI should have done, I would have been happy enough if the driver just refused to start on a fake device with a Code 10 in device manager: "The device cannot start".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Zeta on October 23, 2014, 03:14:46 am
I'm wondering are these fools blaming FTDI are actually real users? or are they just trols paid by fake ICs manufacturers? it was entertaining to read the posts but come on they can't be real.

Why would you blame FTDI if you are an legit user who unknowingly bought a device containing a counterfeit IC, contact your vendor (he is the one to blame) and ask for a refund or a product change. If they knew those where cointerfeit ICs its their fault if they didn't know they will sue their providers and will make sure they buy the real thing next time it is still their fault.

Just a reminder: buying or selling counterfeit products is illegal and ipholder has the right and duty to make the counterfeit product destroyed (remember when sparkfun cried when they had to pay to have their fake flukes destroyed?)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 23, 2014, 03:21:56 am
I'm wondering are these fools blaming FTDI are actually real users? or are they just trols paid by fake ICs manufacturers? it was entertaining to read the posts but come on they can't be real.

I'm wondering are these fools defending FTDI are actually real users? or are they just trols paid by FTDI? It was entertaining to read the posts but come on they can't be real.


God, it was actually physically painful to type with such bad grammar.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: akshaykirti on October 23, 2014, 03:28:31 am
Oh crap. I bought a rs232 TTL converter from adafruit and it had the same exact issue. The PID used to reset to 0000.

I had to modify the windows ftdi inf files to include 0000 and then boot in unsigned mode to Install the driver. Now it works fine on the normal windows mode.. We were on a tight timeline so couldn't really get a new one.

However if I change the PID to anything via their ftdi eeprom utility it changes it back to 0000 the next time it is plugged in. Had a long forum conversation with adafruit and they didn't want to believe me. Finally they refunded me the money on good faith I guess.

Link to the adafruit forum post. https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=60807 (https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=60807)

p.S Typing on a tablet: please forgive any errors.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 03:31:05 am
In case anyone was still wondering if this is intentional and malicious...

(https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png)

Straight out of their driver. Function/variable naming and comments mine.

Edit: Ooooh this is cleverer than I thought. So what's going on is that on real FT232RLs, the EEPROM is written in 32-bit units: writes to even addresses are buffered, and writes to odd addresses write 32 bits at once: the buffered 16 bits, and the supplied 16 bits. So, on a real FT232RL, this code does nothing; it just buffers 16 bits then buffers another 16 bits and no writes are issued. On a clone FT232RL, this writes the PID to 0 (breaking the checksum) and writes not the checksum, but the value required to make the existing checksum match to address 62. In combination, these two writes make the checksum at address 63 valid again (without modifying it). I've updated the image above with the new analysis.

Edit 2: Note that the EEPROM write commands are legitimate (and necessary - but not sufficient - when writing the full EEPROM of an original FT232RL), and indeed I think they would work on (i.e. also brick) other FTDI devices with external EEPROMs (the code that calls this function is very careful to only do so after detecting an FT232RL, legit or not). What seems to have happened here is that, when FTDI switched to an internal EEPROM on the FT232RL, they decided to switch to a 32-bit EEPROM (you can actually see the 32×40 bit array in this die shot (http://s.zeptobars.ru/ftdi-FT232RL-Si-HD.jpg) by Zeptobars). However, they kept the existing 16-bit-at-a-time commands, but instead decided to buffer one and write only when the chip has accumulated a full 32 bits. This keeps the PC side the same across their entire chip range. The clones just emulate the established interface in the logical and obvious way, issuing 16-bit writes, since presumably nobody checked that a real device doesn't respond like that since usually the entire EEPROM is written at once. FTDI realized that this difference of implementation existed, and is exploiting it here by carefully crafting a routine that has no effect on the original device, but bricks clones (and would likely brick legitimate non-232RL FTDI chips too!).

In a way, the clones actually implement FTDI's command interface better than FTDI themselves - and FTDI is exploiting this to brick them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 23, 2014, 03:32:29 am
what wrong did I do by buying a device on amazon, fully believing that the items there won't be ebay-style fakes?
how is it right, in your view, to punish ME for this?

I heard that one before, from a guy trying to smuggle elephant ivory

At least if I design a .. Prolific...  part into my product, it's less likely to get wrecked by malware.

you seem to missed the memo on prolific driver bsoding on purpose when it detects fake chip
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: kwallen on October 23, 2014, 03:39:18 am
Oh crap. I bought a rs232 TTL converter from adafruit and it had the same exact issue. The PID used to reset to 0000.

Might want to contact them about that, they have a statement on their website at the moment saying all of theirs are genuine.

Quote from: https://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/10/22/ftdi-drivers-brick-counterfeit-chips-with-latest-windows-update/
Hackaday and EEVblog are reporting that the latest Windows update that include FTDI drivers brick any counterfeit FTDI chips. Adafruit requires it suppliers to only use genuine FTDI chips. However, no matter what it’s always possible counterfeit chips could be used when you purchase products from anyone, anywhere. We’re double and triple checking all our products and suppliers as an added precaution.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Knuckx on October 23, 2014, 03:44:10 am
In case anyone was still wondering if this is intentional and malicious...

(https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png)

Straight out of their driver. Function/variable naming and comments mine.

So it relies on a quirk of the EEPROM handling of the fakes. I suspect this will turn into a game of cat and mouse if FTDI continue...

what wrong did I do by buying a device on amazon, fully believing that the items there won't be ebay-style fakes?
how is it right, in your view, to punish ME for this?

I heard that one before, from a guy trying to smuggle elephant ivory

At least if I design a .. Prolific...  part into my product, it's less likely to get wrecked by malware.

you seem to missed the memo on prolific driver bsoding on purpose when it detects fake chip
True, but it still doesn't semi-brick your device when it does this...

USB-CDC should be standard by now; surely some cheap chinese chip consortium could spend some time rolling a cheap CDC chip for the masses?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 23, 2014, 03:54:57 am
Arduino switched to using a USB equipped ATMega for their USB-to-serial needs.

I think the best response from the outraged community would be an open-sourced FT232RL emulator sketch for ATMel (or similar) micro controllers. It should, of course, be complete with an "#ifdef PROTECT_PID" code block that works around this nonsense.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: akshaykirti on October 23, 2014, 04:00:43 am
Oh crap. I bought a rs232 TTL converter from adafruit and it had the same exact issue. The PID used to reset to 0000.

Might want to contact them about that, they have a statement on their website at the moment saying all of theirs are genuine.

Quote from: https://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/10/22/ftdi-drivers-brick-counterfeit-chips-with-latest-windows-update/
Hackaday and EEVblog are reporting that the latest Windows update that include FTDI drivers brick any counterfeit FTDI chips. Adafruit requires it suppliers to only use genuine FTDI chips. However, no matter what it’s always possible counterfeit chips could be used when you purchase products from anyone, anywhere. We’re double and triple checking all our products and suppliers as an added precaution.

Just did. Linked them to hackaday. Wow, I wasted almost 2 hrs that day fixing this stupid issue.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: akshaykirti on October 23, 2014, 04:12:36 am
Looks like adafruit removed the product I bought with the fake chip. Great!

https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=60807 (https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=60807)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 23, 2014, 04:23:38 am
what wrong did I do by buying a device on amazon, fully believing that the items there won't be ebay-style fakes?
how is it right, in your view, to punish ME for this?

I heard that one before, from a guy trying to smuggle elephant ivory

What did he use the FTDI IC for?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 04:28:47 am
What did he use the FTDI IC for?

That's the whole point.  He used a fake chip... or a fake elephant.  Or something.  Or the real elephant came back and trampled the fake ivory because it wasn't real.

You see?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 04:35:37 am
I really like FTDI. It sure beats the hell out of Prolific.  I have chosen FTDI over the years because the drivers worked well.  FTDI didn't do this casually I'm sure.  I'm actually sympathetic to them because how the hell are they supposed to develop new products if everyone gets to steal their IP? I really have as much sympathy for people's fake eBay crap getting bricked as I do for those who brick their scopes when they try to steal software upgrades.

If you want your clone FTDI chip to work, consider LICENSING their driver instead of just stealing it.  If you want your USB device to work, buy FTDI ICs through legitimate distribution channels. Any purchasing agent who doesn't know they're buying gray or black market components is a liar or incompetent twit. 

That said, FTDI should at least flag end users for why their fake device is now defunct. Otherwise their is no mechanism for a user to demand what they paid for: a legitimate FTDI-based device.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 23, 2014, 04:39:49 am
What did he use the FTDI IC for?

That's the whole point.  He used a fake chip... or a fake elephant.  Or something.  Or the real elephant came back and trampled the fake ivory because it wasn't real.

You see?

ahahaha
thank you, couldnt make a better argument myself
hahahah
Im laughing so hard I started crying haha


In case anyone was still wondering if this is intentional and malicious...
Straight out of their driver. Function/variable naming and comments mine.

Nice. You cant even blame them for doing something specific to fakes, they do very same procedure to all chips presenting proper ftdi vid/pid.
I like it. If I worked for FTDI I would call this "eprom_test" and claim its essential for quality assurance  :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 23, 2014, 04:42:15 am
How long does Windows updates include this clone bricking driver?

I wonder if Microsoft was aware of this practice and will they let it go on.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 04:57:03 am
I wonder if Microsoft was aware of this practice and will they let it go on.
Do you honestly think the company that will brick a pirated OS will stop a hardware vendor from bricking its stolen IP?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 04:59:08 am
FWIW, I think FTDI is clearly in the wrong here. While I have no objection to them protecting their IP, the correct approach is not to damage end-user products. They should've just made the driver refuse to work on clone chips.

My personal philosophy is that there is no excuse for intentionally or through negligence damaging users' hardware (and I write my code according to it). For example, when I was doing something similar while writing The Homebrew Channel for the Nintendo Wii (anti-scam code), the behavior when an inconsistency is detected is to show a scam warning screen for 60 minutes - on the very slim off-chance that the user screwed up their hardware such that using The Homebrew Channel as currently installed was their last hope of recovery, they can still save themselves (after waiting). I don't know of any cases where this has happened or where it would happen, but I didn't want to be responsible for disabling a user's last hope of recovery, even if remote. Deliberately bricking devices is just incomprehensible (and reprehensible) to me. With HBC, we tried *very* hard to maximally inconvenience scammers who were selling our free (as in beer) software (and their users), but always with a very hard, clear line between inconveniencing and actively damaging. I'm proud to say that I've never heard of a user directly or indirectly bricking their hardware with my code (as released to end-users - and we have over 5 million users of our hacks).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 05:01:20 am
In case anyone was still wondering if this is intentional and malicious...

(disassembled code)

Straight out of their driver. Function/variable naming and comments mine.

Thank you for the analysis. Now they are in trouble and can't just pretend it's the clones "malfunctioning" with the new driver...
Maybe they didn't expect someone to dig into the code...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daqq on October 23, 2014, 05:22:34 am
Quote
Wow, 1400 guests viewing this thread!
At one point yesterday it was close to 5000. Apparently it's big news, and I can understand why - this can get real nasty - consumers aside, this can affect a LOT of industrial equipment and who knows what else.

While I understand that FTDI is technically within its rights (license agreement says this can happen), there are nicer ways to inform the user, than to, say, shut down his industrial controller, DAQ thingamajig or similar. Message boxes and various other means of informing the user. It sure is the one that will gain the most attention, but the price for it CAN be pretty high.

Essentially, I see a potential backfire of gigantic proportions...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Richard Crowley on October 23, 2014, 05:24:36 am
The response from Adafruit seems unexpectedly ignorant and dismissive.
Are they really that clueless?  Or are they trying to wave their arms through the problem?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 05:33:32 am
If someone has a fake, can you check the chips serial number(not the USBID number, not serial stored in external eeprom)?

Each of the chips has a unique serial number ( it can be read), it could be the fakes all have the same serial number because they were too lazy/cheap to laser cut / program it.
From my limited number of samples it seems each FT232R clone has a unique serial number.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 05:48:14 am
What did he use the FTDI IC for?

That's the whole point.  He used a fake chip... or a fake elephant.  Or something.  Or the real elephant came back and trampled the fake ivory because it wasn't real.

You see?
Again: the only fake thing about the 'counterfeit' chips is the FTDI logo on them. The rest is 100% different so it doesn't infringe any copyrights, patents or whatever. It's like the elephant being angry somebody invented synthetic ivory. See Intel versus AMD where AMD implemented Intel's instruction set in compatible products. This resulted in a race which has pushed both Intel and AMD to new boundaries of performance and price which in the end has been very benificial for the end user. Competition results in innovation but FTDI thinks they can just sit and wait for their chickens to keep producing golden eggs.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hpux735 on October 23, 2014, 06:11:29 am
I say good riddance to FTDI:

Their chips are over-priced.  It's cheaper to use a usb micro controller an implement a CDC device.

Their drivers SUCK.  On a mac, they haven't updated it since 2012.  If you unplug a device while the port is open it will kernel panic.

All this rhetoric about them being so innovative and "making cool chips for makers" is B.S..

Once, I actually spent a good 20 minutes trying to convince a visiting HP (nee procurve) design engineer to include a FTDI chip in their network switches rather than their RS232 console ports.  They ended up going with a custom solution (probably because FTDI chips cost too much).  I was annoyed because who wants to install YET ANOTHER F-ING DRIVER, but now I have to say that I see the wisdom in their ways.

This feels like the the gasping of a dying company.  That alone may be another great reason to stop designating FTDI parts in new designs.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 06:15:35 am
Again: the only fake thing about the 'counterfeit' chips is the FTDI logo on them. The rest is 100% different so it doesn't infringe any copyrights, patents or whatever.

No. It's an IC plus a driver. And the clone is infringing on the software license agreement.  There would be no issue if the clone ICs supplied their own driver. But they're not. They are using/stealing FTDI's driver in total violation of the licensing agreement. Buy the FTDI chip - use the driver, gratis.  Otherwise, write your own driver.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 06:29:57 am
No. It's an IC plus a driver. And the clone is infringing on the software license agreement.  There would be no issue if the clone ICs supplied their own driver. But they're not. They are using/stealing FTDI's driver in total violation of the licensing agreement. Buy the FTDI chip - use the driver, gratis.  Otherwise, write your own driver.

That's a perfect argument for the driver to detect that the chip is not genuine and then to refuse to operate with it.

And that's exactly what FDTI have done here... or not.

edit: and the history of the license text file in the driver package supports this too (they just added it in the current release)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: welterde on October 23, 2014, 06:30:59 am
No. It's an IC plus a driver. And the clone is infringing on the software license agreement.  There would be no issue if the clone ICs supplied their own driver. But they're not. They are using/stealing FTDI's driver in total violation of the licensing agreement. Buy the FTDI chip - use the driver, gratis.  Otherwise, write your own driver.

How can the hardware infringe on the software license agreement? The hardware can't know, which driver will get used. If you plug it into a linux machine for instance it doesn't use the FTDI-provided driver (or if it was written by them it doesn't have such a license agreement attached). The user can possibly infringe on the software license agreement.. but the hardware itself cannot.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 23, 2014, 06:39:47 am
The driver has absolutely no way of checking whether the chip says FTDI on it or not, so it cannot assume that every one that fails the "is it genuine" check (anyone here with a USB analyser and both the real and clone chips care to do some analysis on figuring out what exactly is the behavioural difference?) is illegally using the trademark and not just some generic brand.
If the chip is using FTDI's VID it's a pretty clear sign.

USB-CDC should be standard by now; surely some cheap chinese chip consortium could spend some time rolling a cheap CDC chip for the masses?
Creating a new market is much more difficult than latching on to an existing one. But for plain USB to serial converters, class-compliant devices really should be the standard. The other functionality offered by FTDI's devices (FIFOs, bit-banging etc.) is harder to replace.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Chipguy on October 23, 2014, 06:42:29 am
Today I posted on the FTDI facebook page asking for an official statement.

If it turns out to be true using their products as become very risky. A simple screwup anywhere down the purchasing chain could lead to potential disaster. I would have to redesign a few products that add up to about 3000 FTDI chips per year, mostly FT232R and some others.

FTDI better gets an official statement out.
On some point somebody will decompile the driver and eventually find the piece of code that destroys the fakes.
This would be very bad reputation for FTDI.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 06:43:32 am

That's a perfect argument for the driver to detect that the chip is not genuine and then to refuse to operate with it.

And that's exactly what FDTI have done here... or not.



Perhaps FTDI support are just tired of having to support someone else's faulty hardware with their drivers and decided to solve the problem.

If I can remotely brick the MacBook air that was stolen from me, why can't FTDI brick their stolen hardware?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: firewalker on October 23, 2014, 06:49:00 am
Perhaps FTDI support are just tired of having to support someone else's faulty hardware with their drivers and decided to solve the problem.

If I can remotely brick the MacBook air that was stolen from me, why can't FTDI brick their stolen hardware?

Because the MacBook is yours.

The other would be like Apple bricking any third party MacOS compliant system.

Alexander.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 06:50:34 am
If I can remotely brick the MacBook air that was stolen from me, why can't FTDI brick their stolen hardware?

Should Vishay be able to remotely brick your MacBook air if it contains a counterfeit resistor?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: DaWaN on October 23, 2014, 06:56:18 am
If it turns out to be true using their products as become very risky. A simple screwup anywhere down the purchasing chain could lead to potential disaster. I would have to redesign a few products that add up to about 3000 FTDI chips per year, mostly FT232R and some others.

As a design engineer I have no control of my supply chain of parts, this is handled by a 3rd party.
Now if the 3rd party sources a fake chip I am screwed. As it is out of my control the consequence is simple: no more FTDI in my designs.
I have a few designs equipped with FTDI chips because the driver can be retrieved from Windows Update (which saves us quite a lot of support).

For personal and/or lab use (we consume quite a few of these cables here, test engineers always manage to blow stuff up..) I am definitely not going to buy any FTDI anymore! I cannot spend my time researching whether a device contains a legit or a fake chip.

Now I am working on a new design, but I'd like to retain a USB -> TTL serial chip with drivers available on Windows Update.
As far as I know the Prolific PL2303 does not have a driver on Windows Update, am I right? I find this chip also hard to source locally for prototypes (EU based, so I prefer Farnell).
Anyone know an alternative?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:00:52 am

Because the MacBook is yours.

The other would be like Apple bricking any third party MacOS compliant system.

Alexander.

Which Microsoft et. el. do all the time if they detect a fake serial (or Vendor ID in FTDI case.)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: firewalker on October 23, 2014, 07:04:32 am
Which Microsoft et. el. do all the time if they detect a fake serial (or Vendor ID in FTDI case.)

No they don;t. They disable the stolen goods (e.g. unauthorized Windows copy). They are not killing the hardware containing the stolen goods.

Alexander.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:04:42 am

Should Vishay be able to remotely brick your MacBook air if it contains a counterfeit resistor?

Why not? Although inconvenience, I would just get a refund from Apple. Who in that case would be in the wrong, not Vishay.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: kayvee on October 23, 2014, 07:07:49 am

Anyone know an alternative?

Silicon Labs do a range which are easy to use, and I find them cheaper than FTDI.

http://www.silabs.com/products/interface/usbtouart/Pages/default.aspx (http://www.silabs.com/products/interface/usbtouart/Pages/default.aspx)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:10:06 am


No they don;t. They disable the stolen goods (e.g. unauthorized Windows copy). They are not killing the hardware containing the stolen goods.

Alexander.

And your can reinstall a licensed vendor ID in to the clone part and it'll work again. Just not with FTDI software.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 23, 2014, 07:17:43 am
If I can remotely brick the MacBook air that was stolen from me, why can't FTDI brick their stolen hardware?

Should Vishay be able to remotely brick your MacBook air if it contains a counterfeit resistor?

should you get free fluid change at Mercedes dealers if you drive up in this:
(http://all-funny.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/fake_mercedes_benz.jpg)
should you scream bloody murder if they _try_ to give you that free service, but fill oil pan with brake fluid due to differences between real and fake one?


As a design engineer I have no control of my supply chain of parts, this is handled by a 3rd party.
so you are not responsible for it, whats the problem?

Now if the 3rd party sources a fake chip I am screwed.
did anything change today? you could ALWAYS get screwed by a fake transistor that burns out after couple of hours

As it is out of my control the consequence is simple: no more FTDI in my designs.
no more transistors too? no more opamps, no more avrs? I suppose you stopped using pendrives and SD cards, they all get faked in china

For personal and/or lab use (we consume quite a few of these cables here, test engineers always manage to blow stuff up..) I am definitely not going to buy any FTDI anymore! I cannot spend my time researching whether a device contains a legit or a fake chip.

you dont have to, fake one simply wont work outright = no wasted time

Now I am working on a new design, but I'd like to retain a USB -> TTL serial chip with drivers available on Windows Update.
As far as I know the Prolific PL2303 does not have a driver on Windows Update, am I right? I find this chip also hard to source locally for prototypes (EU based, so I prefer Farnell).
Anyone know an alternative?

why would you need any? Farnell has original chips and there is zero risk of getting fake, where is the problem?


I simply dont get angry people from this thread - you bought a fake, deal with it. Imagine someone selling Daves uCurrent Gold, build using 5% resistors and lm358, all made to look like the genuine one, except the price is $10. This is your $2 FTDI cable with free shipping.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 07:25:33 am
Which Microsoft et. el. do all the time if they detect a fake serial (or Vendor ID in FTDI case.)

Do they?

The last time I saw anything of this nature it was when my neighbour asked if I could look at their computer.

It had a black background and a note on the screen somewhere that it was an unauthorised copy.

It still worked for most things and there was some sort of option provided to "correct" the fault.

Off topic, but in this case it was a brand name PC with a "genuine Windows" sticker on the side and it was still under original warranty.  I recommended that they take it back to where they had purchased it from.  I assume they did because I've never been asked to look at it again. 

Seemed like (a) false positive, (b) not bricked, (c) still mostly operational, (d) hardware certainly not damaged.


Should Vishay be able to remotely brick your MacBook air if it contains a counterfeit resistor?

Why not? Although inconvenience, I would just get a refund from Apple. Who in that case would be in the wrong, not Vishay.

Suuuuure.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:40:26 am
Which Microsoft et. el. do all the time if they detect a fake serial (or Vendor ID in FTDI case.)

Do they?

I'm guessing that you can yoll back the driver and use the FTDI util to change the vendor ID.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 07:44:37 am
(http://all-funny.info/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/fake_mercedes_benz.jpg)
should you scream bloody murder if they _try_ to give you that free service, but fill oil pan with brake fluid due to differences between real and fake one?
You sure as hell should scream bloody murder if they go ahead and punch a hole in the oil pan.

This isn't "FTDI's driver accidentally damages clones". FTDI's driver contains code blatantly, explicitly, and clearly designed to damage clones.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:44:49 am


Should Vishay be able to remotely brick your MacBook air if it contains a counterfeit resistor?

Why not? Although inconvenience, I would just get a refund from Apple. Who in that case would be in the wrong, not Vishay.

Suuuuure.

It's guaranteed by trading standards in the UK.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 07:51:30 am

This isn't "FTDI's driver accidentally damages clones". FTDI's driver contains code blatantly, explicitly, and clearly designed to damage clones.

They removed their vendor ID from clone chips, nothing more.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: DaWaN on October 23, 2014, 07:58:01 am
so you are not responsible for it, whats the problem?
The trouble is this is difficult to support, so it will cost me time further down the line. I understand the reason why FTDI does this, but by hurting the end customer in an inconvenient way just causes a lot of potential support for me, this is something I simply do not have the time for..

did anything change today? you could ALWAYS get screwed by a fake transistor that burns out after couple of hours
Most discrete components get substituted by local alternatives instead of clones, these local alternatives can be easily verified whether they meet specification.
So far I have been lucky I guess as I do not recall problems with fake parts so far..

no more transistors too? no more opamps, no more avrs? I suppose you stopped using pendrives and SD cards, they all get faked in china
With semiconductor parts I have been lucky so far.. As for pendrivers and SD cards.. Please do not remind me of the pain I had already with that fake stuff :rant:
All the Raspberry PI development kits ship with our own SD card, you want to use another one? Fine: but no support from me anymore!

you dont have to, fake one simply wont work outright = no wasted time
Sure, buying them and testing them does not cost time and money :palm:
Or what do you think of the case when I test them on a PC with an older driver? In that case I hand over the working cable and it gets bricked at the end user, fun stuff right?

why would you need any? Farnell has original chips and there is zero risk of getting fake, where is the problem?
I am not scared about locally built prototypes: those will be fine. Problems will arise when stuff gets built in volume in the Far East.

I simply dont get angry people from this thread - you bought a fake, deal with it. Imagine someone selling Daves uCurrent Gold, build using 5% resistors and lm358, all made to look like the genuine one, except the price is $10. This is your $2 FTDI cable with free shipping.
The problem is the way FTDI hits the end user, fighting counterfeit parts is no problem! There are many different ways to fight these counterfeits, but FTDI managed to choose more or less the worst method I guess...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 07:58:41 am
Now I am working on a new design, but I'd like to retain a USB -> TTL serial chip with drivers available on Windows Update.
As far as I know the Prolific PL2303 does not have a driver on Windows Update, am I right? I find this chip also hard to source locally for prototypes (EU based, so I prefer Farnell).
Anyone know an alternative?
I always liked the CP21xx devices from Silabs. I think these are also more robust (less problems when switching something on/off) than the FT232R. The only reason I choose for the FT232R is the TSOP package instead of QFN but the advantage of TSOP over QFN is marginal to me.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: moemoe on October 23, 2014, 07:59:45 am
They removed their vendor ID from clone chips, nothing more.

So, they own an integer value?

As long as I don't violate any patents, I can build a system that talks a protocol that looks like USB (of course I'm not allowed to call it USB) and send any data I like.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 08:05:18 am

This isn't "FTDI's driver accidentally damages clones". FTDI's driver contains code blatantly, explicitly, and clearly designed to damage clones.

They removed their vendor ID from clone chips, nothing more.
Actually, no, they removed the product ID only, not the vendor ID. And no, they don't actually legally own their Vendor ID in any relevant way, nor do they have the legal right to remove their Vendor ID from clone chips. USB Vendor IDs are, legally speaking, only relevant to USB certification. I can use whaver Vendor ID I damn well want in my product, and that is 100% legal, valid, and ethical (it just won't pass USB-IF certification).

Flamewar aside, I figured out what's going on with the real chips: turns out their EEPROM is written in 32bit units. Writing to even addresses is ignored; the value is buffered and the address discarded. Writing to odd addresses writes the entire 32bits, using whatever value was last buffered for the other half. So both the PID write and the checksum write are ignored on real FTDI chips, as they are both written to even addresses. I still don't know why it works on clone chips though, since the checksum is written to the wrong place (it should normally be on an odd address); presumably they don't check it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: BH on October 23, 2014, 08:06:06 am
I don't agree that this risk is limited to $2 converters with free shipping off Ebay.

When a contract manufacturing company is producing a product, and they get caught with short stock and long lead-times, they go to the grey market and take a risk.  I've seen it first hand, time and time again.  They get the parts in, test a couple, and if they work they give the all-clear for mass production. 

So the products "at risk" here are ALL products with an FT232 chip in it, since you cannot possibly know where the device manufacturer obtained their parts.

My personal take on this is that FTDI have made a big mistake in not informing end users of the problem.  I'm not sure if I have a problem with bricking the device as such, in the manner that they do it, (I can see both points of view) but I do have a problem with not informing the user.  The vast majority of users will just experience a dead product, and will have no idea that the reason is because of a fake IC.

BJH
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 08:12:58 am
KPR8 has been banned therefore please do not report any more of his post!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: limbo on October 23, 2014, 08:15:34 am
For a moment, forget that you are engineers.

Consider end users. What someone owns a device with fake chip?
Imagine devices which are working for a long period of time and after the update...  |O

It seems FTDI adopting "Stuxnet" policy!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 23, 2014, 08:17:28 am
wow, this really blew up while I was asleep!

thanks marcan for doing the disassembly legwork. Was going to give it a look this morning but I see that you have hex-rays, so I can't really compete with that! :P

Can we stop with the analogies please? Let's just look at the facts:


I've always purchased my stock from real suppliers, but now I'm worried to plug in any devices that have an FTDI chip in them that were purchased elsewhere (like the local electronics shop, sparkfun, adafruit, various embedded linux boards, microcontroller dev boards, etc). Fortunately I use linux and mac for almost anything.

PS if you'd like a USB serial converter to play with, the cypress PSOC boards come with one that you can snap off. And the boards are only $4 each, plus you get an ARM microcontroller! I bought 5.  ^-^
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 08:38:23 am


I can use whaver Vendor ID I damn well want in my product, and that is 100% legal, valid, and ethical (it just won't pass USB-IF certification).


And risk breaking USB plug and play and end user systems.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 08:43:43 am
Again: the only fake thing about the 'counterfeit' chips is the FTDI logo on them. The rest is 100% different so it doesn't infringe any copyrights, patents or whatever.
No. It's an IC plus a driver. And the clone is infringing on the software license agreement.
You can't enforce such a restriction under copyright law. You can allow people to use your software and make them pay whatever you want but you can't limit the way people use the software. Besides that the driver comes with Windows and there is no way to decline the license therefore the license is null and void.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 08:47:51 am
And risk breaking USB plug and play and end user systems.
If by that you mean risk my device not working right because the wrong driver got loaded, sure; that's why we have IDs after all. But there is no risk to end user systems outside of the device in question.

We have certifications for a reason, and the system was designed this way for a reason, but there is a vast, vast difference between a) what the spec says, b) what is moral/right for end users, and c) what is legal.

Putting someone else's logo on your part? That's neither compliant with the spec, nor moral, nor legal.
Using someone else's VID with your own, custom, proprietary device? Violates the spec, it's stupid since it might cause trouble for end-users if there is a PID collision, but perfectly legal.
Using someone else's VID and PID, intending to provide a compatible programming interface? Still out of spec, but perfectly moral, most likely fine in the absence of malicious intent, and certainly legal.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: limbo on October 23, 2014, 08:54:54 am
Again: the only fake thing about the 'counterfeit' chips is the FTDI logo on them. The rest is 100% different so it doesn't infringe any copyrights, patents or whatever.

No. It's an IC plus a driver. And the clone is infringing on the software license agreement.  There would be no issue if the clone ICs supplied their own driver. But they're not. They are using/stealing FTDI's driver in total violation of the licensing agreement. Buy the FTDI chip - use the driver, gratis.  Otherwise, write your own driver.

It is the logo and the IDs used by the chip than makes it "fake". Using FTDI IDs the chips forcing OS to load the appropriate drivers.
Anyway this is well known by FTDI for long period of time.
http://gadgetmakersblog.com/2/ (http://gadgetmakersblog.com/2/)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 08:56:59 am
For a moment, forget that you are engineers.

Imagine end users. What someone owns a device with fake chip?
Imagine devices which are working for a long period of time and after the update...  |O

It seems FTDI adopting "Stuxnet" policy!

Agreed.

I'm still wondering just how big of a problem this is for FTDI and just what other options it had to protect itself from being cloned out of its own market?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: BH on October 23, 2014, 09:04:10 am
I don't think you'd need to knowingly go grey market to get counterfeit chips. Proper suppliers have been hit by counterfeits before.

I agree, and that's because "proper" suppliers will experience the same issue.  They need stock but can't deal with the lead times.  So they put out interest to other suppliers.  And then they run the risk of ending up with counterfeit devices.

Whichever way you look at it, there's a risk and I totally agree with you.  But I think contract manufacturers pose the biggest risk.  Perhaps that's just because I have first hand experience of them going to the grey market, being burned, and yet doing the same thing all over again the next time.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 23, 2014, 09:15:10 am
Does anyone know for sure how long this driver has been out?

A few hobbyists being inconvenienced by a cheap serial cable no longer working is one thing, but what happens when much bigger, more important equipment suddenly won't talk to the outside world any more?

Let's see, where are serial communication links used...

Automated test equipment? Sure.
CNC machines? Undoubtedly.
Hospital equipment? Quite possibly.
Air traffic control? Dunno.

Is is a good or bad idea to keep the PCs to which these machines are connected patched and up-to-date with all the latest updates from MS? Normally I'd have said 'yes', though it just became a more difficult question to answer correctly.

I wonder how many of these counterfeit parts are in use in the world's chip fabs...?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tggzzz on October 23, 2014, 09:16:24 am
Somebody may have posted this earlier in the thread
Quote
Company Counterfeit Device Statement

FTDI Chip is committed to taking appropriate measures to protect our
customers from the adverse impacts caused by counterfeiting of FTDI Chip
devices. Many of these devices resemble FTDI Chip markings which may lead
the customer to believe they are genuine. FTDI Chip has established a proactive
and global process aimed at detecting and deterring such counterfeit activity.
In order to protect our customers from acquiring counterfeit FTDI Chip devices,
we strongly advise the purchase of products directly from FTDI Chip or one of
our authorised distributors.

Please visit our Sales Network for a complete listing of authorised sales and
distribution partners.

from http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit%20statement.pdf (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit%20statement.pdf)

My opinion, which is worth what you are paying for it...

I have a great deal of sympathy with FTDI.

They shouldn't have done this: it will cause their customers (i.e. big companies) endless grief, will result in endless lawsuits (many directed at FTDI), and will large corporations' QA and purchasing departments may ban FDTI products from their future systems.

It is a "sony rootkit" moment.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: janoc on October 23, 2014, 09:16:44 am

Agreed.

I'm still wondering just how big of a problem this is for FTDI and just what other options it had to protect itself from being cloned out of its own market?

Well, there are plenty of ways they could have taken instead of bricking hardware. And it obviously is a problem for them when they are taking such ridiculous action as to sabotage someone else's hardware.

On the other hand, there are plenty of other USB-to-whatever bridge manufacturers - Prolific, Microchip, Cypress ... Is FTDI going to start to attempt sabotaging  every other competitor as well now? (technicalities about loading the drivers due to different VID:PIDs aside). Where is this BS going to stop?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Zeta on October 23, 2014, 09:24:50 am
why would you need any? Farnell has original chips and there is zero risk of getting fake, where is the problem?


I simply dont get angry people from this thread - you bought a fake, deal with it. Imagine someone selling Daves uCurrent Gold, build using 5% resistors and lm358, all made to look like the genuine one, except the price is $10. This is your $2 FTDI cable with free shipping.
I agree with you
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 09:29:14 am
Does anyone know for sure how long this driver has been out?

A few hobbyists being inconvenienced by a cheap serial cable no longer working is one thing, but what happens when much bigger, more important equipment suddenly won't talk to the outside world any more?

Let's see, where are serial communication links used...

Automated test equipment? Sure.
CNC machines? Undoubtedly.
Hospital equipment? Quite possibly.
Air traffic control? Dunno.

Is is a good or bad idea to keep the PCs to which these machines are connected patched and up-to-date with all the latest updates from MS? Normally I'd have said 'yes', though it just became a more difficult question to answer correctly.

I wonder how many of these counterfeit parts are in use in the world's chip fabs...?

As a general rule, the higher the price/risk of failure, the more stringent parts, suppliers and contractors are assessed. At the company my brother works for, you have to go to the manufactures directly or get a batch code from them to go to a distributor with.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 09:32:04 am

Agreed.

I'm still wondering just how big of a problem this is for FTDI and just what other options it had to protect itself from being cloned out of its own market?

Well, there are plenty of ways they could have taken instead of bricking hardware. And it obviously is a problem for them when they are taking such ridiculous action as to sabotage someone else's hardware.


Such as?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 23, 2014, 09:32:58 am
They removed their vendor ID from clone chips, nothing more.

So, they own an integer value?

As long as I don't violate any patents, I can build a system that talks a protocol that looks like USB (of course I'm not allowed to call it USB) and send any data I like.

then be prepared to receive and handle any data third party software throws at you
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 09:40:37 am
Somebody may have posted this earlier in the thread


from http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit%20statement.pdf (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/QualityDocuments/Counterfeit%20statement.pdf)

My opinion, which is worth what you are paying for it...

I have a great deal of sympathy with FTDI.

They shouldn't have done this: it will cause their customers (i.e. big companies) endless grief, will result in endless lawsuits (many directed at FTDI), and will large corporations' QA and purchasing departments may ban FDTI products from their future systems.

I'm sure FTDI would have done a bit of research first. Traced down the manufacture, looked at who they where selling to and what numbers before acting on it.

I'd be surprised if this will effect nothing more than cheap usb->serial cables and ebay arduinos. Something which will give the likes of Adafruit and Sparkfun a bit more breathing room.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tocsa120ls on October 23, 2014, 09:45:55 am
Interesting. I just saw this driver debacle on hackaday. (I have seen the microscope comparison pictures, that was cool! I like chips...)
Got me thinking.
I have a self built Atmel STK500 compatible programmer, that has a FT232 in it. It was an OK programmer but it was difficult to use with any type of USB extension cable. I will do this update and check it this evening... maybe I had a counterfeit FT232RL.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rew on October 23, 2014, 09:48:13 am
When they say their driver may harm a product of another vendor, I normally take that to mean that they cannot guarantee that it won't break by "normal use" by the FTDI driver. That they intentionally take measures to break it makes it a whole new type of game.

I can visually see the difference between the fake FTDI chips that I have and the real ones. 

If the consensus is that it is legal to fake the FTDI VID, then the fake parts are legal, except maybe the trademarked "FTDI" marking printed on the top. I don't think it is fair that FTDI disables the chips that violate that trademark. What right do they have to involve consumers that happen to have bought an item that contains a trademark violating component?

When I look on the "Texas instruments" site they have a "pricing at 1k" column in their product selection tables. As I don't buy components from them in 1k units, those prices are way lower than what I pay with Farnell for 2, 5 or 10 of them. With a lot of products we KNOW that in china people can earn money from putting items in envelopes at $1 per item including shipping. So what makes it impossible that someone in china bought 1k FTDI chips and is willing to sell them to me at cost+shipping+margin ending up cheaper than Farnell at 5, 10 or 20 quantity?

Also, getting the right amount of chips at the right moment in time for production is difficult. So if someone has bought 100k chips, but then the production run gets cancelled at 80k and they are left with 20k chips but no PCBs to put them on. What now? If you sell them at the normal price every potential buyer will buy from the normal distributer. So with the leftover chips, someone will have to take their loss, and sell them below "normal" price (which for that person/company is better than taking a 100% loss on those chips). So it is also conceivable that some chips are available at prices BELOW normal volume  prices because of some over-buying situations.

Is everything from that end of the globe fake? If you buy an STM32F103 development board, is the STM chip on there fake?

As for what FTDI can do about the fakes, wouldn't it be much nicer if they said (say, in a popup window): "The chip you have connected claims to be FTDI, but is in fact a fake. We, FTDI, invested time and money to make drivers for our chips. Please contact the vendor of this chip for the driver for their chip". 

Well, there are plenty of ways they could have taken instead of bricking hardware. And it obviously is a problem for them when they are taking such ridiculous action as to sabotage someone else's hardware.
Such as?
If you buy a game from vendor X and in the EULA it says it cannot guarantee to work on PCs that have games from other vendors installed. Would you read that EULA? Would you be surprised if it erased essential parts of the other game? What if you load a driver/utility for your seagate disk, and it intentionally bricks the western digital drive in your computer? Would that be OK?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Tandy on October 23, 2014, 09:50:42 am
A point that a lot of people are missing is that some very expensive equipment could go out of action.

For example a manufacture of industrial machinery that was originally controlled by a serial link has had an FT232 designed into later revisions due to the disappearance of serial ports on computers. They might only sell 50 machines a year so they are not in a position to buy direct form the manufacturer so they go on-line and buy from the channel. If these fake chips have made their way into the channel then there could be factories with equipment costing many thousands and production lines stopped because of this deliberate action by FTDI.

The driver has a way to identify the fake chips so they could have easily just have made it so that the driver no longer worked for the fake chip. Deliberately damaging the fake chip is just going to far.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: RetroSwim on October 23, 2014, 09:53:03 am
Hospital equipment? Quite possibly.
Air traffic control? Dunno.

I don't know that any of FTDI's parts (especially the FT232 concerned here) are certified for life-critical systems, so they wouldn't appear in those settings.

In this whole affair, the chain of responsibility goes back to the suppliers of the counterfeit parts.

- Products stop working as intended, they are returned to the manufacturer.
- Manufacturer has cluster of returned products. Investigates.
- All came from factory X, between dates Y and Z.
- Supplier of FT232 for that batch/es grilled. Taken to court.
- Supplier goes to their supplier seeking satisfaction
- And so on until the counterfeit chip maker has nobody to sell to.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 09:53:14 am
T-shirt idea:" OMG FDTI Killed my Dongle.. You Bastards" :D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 09:57:42 am


When I look on the "Texas instruments" site they have a "pricing at 1k" column in their product selection tables. As I don't buy components from them in 1k units, those prices are way lower than what I pay with Farnell for 2, 5 or 10 of them. With a lot of products we KNOW that in china people can earn money from putting items in envelopes at $1 per item including shipping. So what makes it impossible that someone in china bought 1k FTDI chips and is willing to sell them to me at cost+shipping+margin ending up cheaper than Farnell at 5, 10 or 20 quantity?



haha essentially what I do but from the UK so faster and more reliable*


*when you don't take royal mail's "performance" into account
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 09:59:33 am
All FTDI need to do is write the driver to refuse to talk to fake chips which is perfectly legal and maybe send details of the product back to FTDI so that they can track the offenders down. Now if windows is using FTDI's drivers then that is not the users problem and is something they need to take up with microsoft
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 23, 2014, 10:04:08 am
Does anyone know for sure how long this driver has been out?

The drivers dated 2014-09-29 have the license file waning of damage to parts, the ones released 2014-02-21 do not.

My guess is since 2014-09-29.  This fits in with reports of people having problems starting from early this month.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: elektrinis on October 23, 2014, 10:07:57 am
Our company had some BSOD problems last year. Devices were not bricking, but some computers would BSOD during comm init. Vista and 7 were affected, but not all. The chip (FT232RQ) was purchased from farnell and included in to some expensive gear. Clients started returning our product. Massive losses. We did not find a solution or cause and simply decided that this chip is crap. Went for silicon labs alternative, which works fine and is a lot cheaper too.

I can imagine exact thing happening again.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Immortal on October 23, 2014, 10:16:48 am
I saw this issue with PID of 0000  just under a month ago, added the PID to the inf file and was working fine for me.
The fact that Microsoft allowed this in an update is not an issue with Microsoft but with FTDI. it should not have the effect of bricking the device and i'm sure that is borderline illegal.

I have uploaded the inf files to work with the device with a PID of 0000 here:
http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=02202246962541455351 (http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=02202246962541455351)

Extract the official drivers, replace the inf file with these, then install the inf files one at a time.

FTDI need to release another update through microsoft to change the device PID back to whatever it should be to correct this issue.

Faith in FTDI is now shaken, they need to fix this issue to fix their reputation and image in the eyes of the electronic world.

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SpiderElectronics on October 23, 2014, 10:17:05 am
Our company had some BSOD problems last year. Devices were not bricking, but some computers would BSOD during comm init. Vista and 7 were affected, but not all. The chip (FT232RQ) was purchased from farnell and included in to some expensive gear. Clients started returning our product. Massive losses. We did not find a solution or cause and simply decided that this chip is crap. Went for silicon labs alternative, which works fine and is a lot cheaper too.

I can imagine exact thing happening again.

Thats a sad tale, and just because you bought from Farnell doesn't mean the chips were not fake.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: GNU_Ninja on October 23, 2014, 10:19:34 am
Here ya go ==> http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_107_AdvancedDriverOptions_AN_000073.pdf (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_107_AdvancedDriverOptions_AN_000073.pdf)

 ;D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: elektrinis on October 23, 2014, 10:19:52 am
Thats a sad tale, and just because you bought from Farnell doesn't mean the chips were not fake.
Yes, I wanted to say that you can never know, even when buying from legit sources. We still don't know what happened, no proof it being fake etc. So safest step would be to simply not use it.
I just informed my new colleagues about this and response was "ok, I see. No FTDI then."
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SpiderElectronics on October 23, 2014, 10:20:04 am
Another new T-SHIRT idea:

"FTDI - Remember them?"

or simply:

"FTDI - WTF?"
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SpiderElectronics on October 23, 2014, 10:21:44 am
Here ya go ==> http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_107_AdvancedDriverOptions_AN_000073.pdf (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/AppNotes/AN_107_AdvancedDriverOptions_AN_000073.pdf)

 ;D

FTDI's datasheets make my eyes hurt, with their stupid large fonts and Chad-Valley colour schemes.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 10:28:34 am
The fact that Microsoft allowed this in an update is not an issue with Microsoft but with FTDI.
It is a potential massive issue with MS.
Unlike the drivers you download from FTDI, which have a warning, albeit hidden on a second page, the MS stuff is installed without express permission.
If someone were to sue, they would sue MS, not FTDI, as it was MS that delivered the malware which broke their hardware.
However where it gets more muddy is showing intent - FTDI clearly had the intent to cause damage, which is not only a civil but pprobally also a criminal matter (in the UK, criminal damage, and Computer Misuse act) .
My guess is MS will not admit whether or not they knew about it, as if they did know, they would also open themselves to action based on intent to cause damage.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: pordzio on October 23, 2014, 10:30:17 am
All FTDI need to do is write the driver to refuse to talk to fake chips

The problem with this is that the test is also a countermeasure: FTDI tries to brick the device in a specific way, that doesn't affect legit chips.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 23, 2014, 10:31:46 am
I have one left (the rest of the boards I bought are still on a boat) so here it goes:
Before:

[178303.303679] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=6001

After:

[178454.602228] usb 2-4.2.4: New USB device found, idVendor=0403, idProduct=0000

Git pull request for this driver update would be handy, would make for a fantastic Linus rant.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: AndyC_772 on October 23, 2014, 10:50:14 am
In this whole affair, the chain of responsibility goes back to the suppliers of the counterfeit parts.

- Products stop working as intended, they are returned to the manufacturer.
- Manufacturer has cluster of returned products. Investigates.
- All came from factory X, between dates Y and Z.
- Supplier of FT232 for that batch/es grilled. Taken to court.
- Supplier goes to their supplier seeking satisfaction
- And so on until the counterfeit chip maker has nobody to sell to.

Can you think of any reason why FTDI, being the sole beneficiary of this long, drawn-out and hugely expensive process besides the lawyers, should NOT foot the bill for it?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tggzzz on October 23, 2014, 10:50:45 am
haha essentially what I do but from the UK so faster and more reliable*
*when you don't take royal mail's "performance" into account

You prefer CityLink or Yodel? Really? Ever had to retrieve a "delivery" from your rubbish bin (I have)?

(BTW I've just had a RM try to deliver a parcel to me despite it being the wrong road - and despite there being a sign 1" from the doorbell indicating that. Worst example of a misdelivery was roof-height scaffolding!)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hobbes on October 23, 2014, 10:54:05 am

It is the logo and the IDs used by the chip than makes it "fake".

No it's not. At least in the EU, interfaces, APIs and software functions used for interoperability cannot be copyrighted. Moreover in some countries the reproduction of such interfaces for the purpose of interoperability is even protected, rendering EULAs that forbid 'emulating' a device void. And the driver can not determine if the device brings their logo.

Their only defense was that they're exploiting a side-effect of running some code on the counterfeit device, but that stopped being effective as an excuse the moment they acknowledged they are aware their drivers are actively bricking third party devices.
Shielding behind the EULA is not going to work either: if I plug my end-user device I bough with due diligence from a reputable vendor into someone else's laptop and the driver included in Windows renders it interoperable, where is that I had the chance of being made aware of their policy?

(sidenote: I am sympathetic to their massive issues to fight counterfeit devices flooding their market, on the other hand, I am concerned that my consumer rights don't get in the middle of a battle between manufacturers and clones)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 23, 2014, 10:54:10 am

The problem with this is that the test is also a countermeasure: FTDI tries to brick the device in a specific way, that doesn't affect legit chips.

Then they should change it right back when done, but a better test probably exists.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 10:57:19 am
All FTDI need to do is write the driver to refuse to talk to fake chips

The problem with this is that the test is also a countermeasure: FTDI tries to brick the device in a specific way, that doesn't affect legit chips.

They could've written to an even EEPROM location, read it back to check whether it was indeed written, then restored it. This would've been slightly dangerous (disconnecting the device at the wrong time would cause a checksum failure which *might* cause it to malfunction), which is a far cry from consistently and deliberately bricking every device.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: RetroSwim on October 23, 2014, 10:57:50 am
Can you think of any reason why FTDI, being the sole beneficiary of this long, drawn-out and hugely expensive process besides the lawyers, should NOT foot the bill for it?

Of course they should foot the bill.

I'm sure they already worked out a ballpark figure of what said bill might be, and still decided they'd end up better off, with their army of accountants and lawyers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: German_EE on October 23, 2014, 11:10:05 am
I now face an interesting problem. Suppose I want to buy a USB to serial cable from Saturn (a reputable electronics retailer here in Europe) and the outside of the packet says that it has an FTDI chipset:

If the chipset is genuine the I am supporting FTDI and I do not want to do this.

If the chipset is fake then it will die as soon as I plug the cable into an MS Windows machine.

My only option is therefore to avoid ANY product that has an FTDI chip leading to loss of business on their part. Rather silly on their part, killing their own market like that.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: madires on October 23, 2014, 11:13:08 am
If nothing else this sets a very dangerous precedent.
Crap like DRM is bad enough, but if this sort of behaviour is allowed (e.g. by Microsoft including it in updates), and is considered "acceptable", what next?
Printer bricked after using knock-off cartridge?
Hard disk wiped if MS discovers your license number is a copy?
Phone bricked after using a fake battery?

I don't think that we'll see much of that since it would be plain illegal in several countries. For Germany it's quite simple. Any warning in the licence or another paper about bricking stuff is invalid since it would be a bad surprise and also would discriminate users disproportionately. Bricking devices is a willful damage to property and that's an offence. Things like wiping disks is computer sabotage, also an offence. The vendor would have to compensate the user for any damages and would also face a fine and/or some jail time for the responsible managers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 11:19:58 am
haha essentially what I do but from the UK so faster and more reliable*
*when you don't take royal mail's "performance" into account

You prefer CityLink or Yodel? Really? Ever had to retrieve a "delivery" from your rubbish bin (I have)?

(BTW I've just had a RM try to deliver a parcel to me despite it being the wrong road - and despite there being a sign 1" from the doorbell indicating that. Worst example of a misdelivery was roof-height scaffolding!)

I'm holding tight for xmas, when RM became privatized my lost deliveries went from 1 per 2 months to 2 per week! they now contractually reserve the right to take 15 days more than "promised" or "aimed" to deliver and even for "special delivery guaranteed by x time next day" they make the contractual right to take 10 days on top of that if they feel like it.

Yea the cheap parcel carriers are crap - you generally get what you pay for
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Dago on October 23, 2014, 11:27:33 am
I sense a very interesting shitstorm brewing!

I just cannot fathom what kind of thinking led to releasing a driver like this from FTDI. I'm absolutely certain they WILL get sued by some party having massive losses due to this sabotage.

I agree with every (sensible) person here that showing an explicit window saying this driver will not work this counterfeit chip would have been perfectly good enough. But actively sabotaging chips due to a counterfeit logo, wow.

The only logical conclusion I can come up to is that I will not use any FTDI chips in my own or my work projects because of this debacle. This way I can minimize my (and my employers) risk of getting caught up in this. Also this kind of stuff is pretty telling of the companys ethics and I do not want to condone such behaviour.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: GNU_Ninja on October 23, 2014, 11:39:31 am
Here ya go ==> http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal (http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal)

Must admit. The logo on the fake IC is way better than the one on the real IC  ;D
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: maxstone on October 23, 2014, 11:40:10 am
I now face an interesting problem. Suppose I want to buy a USB to serial cable from Saturn (a reputable electronics retailer here in Europe) and the outside of the packet says that it has an FTDI chipset:

If the chipset is genuine the I am supporting FTDI and I do not want to do this.

If the chipset is fake then it will die as soon as I plug the cable into an MS Windows machine.

My only option is therefore to avoid ANY product that has an FTDI chip leading to loss of business on their part. Rather silly on their part, killing their own market like that.

Perhaps they are already receiving a bad reputation and loosing their market share as people are buying what they believe to be FTDI products that do not meet the full specifications in the datasheet.

It'll be interesting to see if someone does a full comparison of a fake IC next to a real one.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 11:51:44 am
In case anyone was still wondering if this is intentional and malicious...

(https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png)

Straight out of their driver. Function/variable naming and comments mine.

Edit: Ooooh this is cleverer than I thought. So what's going on is that on real FT232RLs, the EEPROM is written in 32-bit units: writes to even addresses are buffered, and writes to odd addresses write 32 bits at once: the buffered 16 bits, and the supplied 16 bits. So, on a real FT232RL, this code does nothing; it just buffers 16 bits then buffers another 16 bits and no writes are issued. On a clone FT232RL, this writes the PID to 0 (breaking the checksum) and writes not the checksum, but the value required to make the existing checksum match to address 62. In combination, these two writes make the checksum at address 63 valid again (without modifying it). I've updated the image above with the new analysis.


Thanks for your reverse engineering.


I think all other things are sayd. I would wonder if no one of the poeple that posts here for FTDI is payd.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sacherjj on October 23, 2014, 11:52:21 am
Parody patch sent for linux kernel.  :)

https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: crenn6977 on October 23, 2014, 11:56:55 am
Parody patch sent for linux kernel.  :)

https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129

You sure that's a parody? Also, damn you beat me to posting that link.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 11:58:07 am
Parody patch sent for linux kernel.  :)

https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129

*ROFL*
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 23, 2014, 11:59:50 am
Their only defense was that they're exploiting a side-effect of running some code on the counterfeit device, but that stopped being effective as an excuse the moment they acknowledged they are aware their drivers are actively bricking third party devices.
Technically why should they bother in that case. It works perfectly on the target device. If the poorly cloned counterfeit device which is illegal to sell cannot bear normal operation of the driver, why should they bother at all. Manufacturer is not supposed to modify drivers because of the counterfeit device exists. Moreover rolling back to the older driver if you know that it is a fake, is also breaking of the older driver licence agreement. So technically what is a difference between bricking the device and make user to know that it is a fake as it becomes illegal to use the counterfeit device since the moment user becomes aware of it being fake?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:06:55 pm
Their only defense was that they're exploiting a side-effect of running some code on the counterfeit device, but that stopped being effective as an excuse the moment they acknowledged they are aware their drivers are actively bricking third party devices.
Technically why should they bother in that case. It works perfectly on the target device. If the poorly cloned counterfeit device which is illegal to sell cannot bear normal operation of the driver, why should they bother at all. Manufacturer is not supposed to modify drivers because of the counterfeit device exists. Moreover rolling back to the older driver if you know that it is a fake, is also breaking of the older driver licence agreement. So technically what is a difference between bricking the device and make user to know that it is a fake as it becomes illegal to use the counterfeit device since the moment user becomes aware of it being fake?

Why ? Because they are now in a war that they can't win. Chinese manufacturers will follow and then they can update their drivers again. And so on.....

AND:It's NOT illegal to sell the chip. Maybee some of the chips are wrapped with epoxid and tagged as ftdi, but you're sure all destroyed chips are so? how can the driver test this ? Its illegal to destroy chips with this insufficient test!

It will not be more true if you post this wrong fact in every of your messages.

Edit:And if the war runs long enough, chinese cloners have perfect rebuilds that works like the original with no chance to test for the driver.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 23, 2014, 12:12:29 pm
AND:It's NOT illegal to sell the chip.
Yes it is. As it is illegal to even send it abroad tor return back to the seller as any other counterfeit.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: bookaboo on October 23, 2014, 12:12:42 pm

Agreed.

I'm still wondering just how big of a problem this is for FTDI and just what other options it had to protect itself from being cloned out of its own market?

Well, there are plenty of ways they could have taken instead of bricking hardware. And it obviously is a problem for them when they are taking such ridiculous action as to sabotage someone else's hardware.


Such as?

Nag screen when you plug in a device something like what microsoft do, in form the user and annoy them slightly then let them on their way  :-//

"You may be a victim of USB hardware counterfeiting, please contact your supplier to ensure they use only genuine FTDI parts"
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 12:14:02 pm
Parody patch sent for linux kernel.  :)

https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129 (https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129)
It seems the official Linux kernel is already patched to keep using the bricked FT232 devices. https://www.mail-archive.com/linux-usb@vger.kernel.org/msg50762.html (https://www.mail-archive.com/linux-usb@vger.kernel.org/msg50762.html)
I also see that the driver supports a healthcare device so I hope there are real FTDI devices in there.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: German_EE on October 23, 2014, 12:18:04 pm
After going through my USB devices it appears that I may need to be careful with one item:

Logic Analyzer Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0925:3881 Lakeview Research

MiniVNA Bus 006 Device 003: ID 0403:6001 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd FT232 USB-Serial (UART)

Picoscope Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0ce9:1001 pico Technology PicoScope3204

Parallel Port Interface Bus 006 Device 004: ID 067b:2305 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2305 Parallel Port

Old Webcam Bus 006 Device 005: ID 093a:2460 Pixart Imaging, Inc. Q-TEC WEBCAM 100

New Webcam Bus 002 Device 007: ID 046d:082b Logitech, Inc.

I have no idea if the FTDI chip in my MiniVNA is genuine or a fake and just to get to the chip will mean a complete strip down. I may wait a few days to see if the patch is removed by Microsoft.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:32:07 pm
AND:It's NOT illegal to sell the chip.
Yes it is. As it is illegal to even send it abroad tor return back to the seller as any other counterfeit.


Why should it be illegal ? the chip is not a copy, its a rebuild from reverse engineering and datasheets. Thats legal in the complete eu and in many other countries. in china, where the chips are developed its legal too. So can you me name ANY real reason why this chips should be illegal ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Immortal on October 23, 2014, 12:33:05 pm
FTDI is at fault for this as they were the ones who passed on the driver to Microsoft to be included in the update. Microsoft are doing as they have always done and take the word of the manufacturers that what they are going to be including into their update will not be malicious to preexisting devices.

Yes it's a pain that this situation has come about and yes it's a pain that some peoples devices are being affected by this, but it is not the customers fault that devices are being bricked, intentionally or not. The fact of the matter is that this situation has happened. The only foreseeable way out of this is for FTDI to change their code to support correcting this issue in affected devices, which they will not want to do or foot the bill for as it's not their product in the device which is now broken.

Such as the situation is bad, this has highlighted sellers of this chip so people who have bought fake chips know where they bought them from and those places should be listed as not to further the problem. Microsoft should reverse the update so that it doesn't affect any further devices and those with affected devices will have to foot the bill and pass that back on to the manufacturing and sellers of the fake devices which were purchased.

In the long run, it's a terrible thing that has happened but but it can be reversed on most devices and once Microsoft pulls the update those devices will be able to work again, albeit that FTDI won't want to be changing their source... they should think about doing so as a customer relations exercise.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 23, 2014, 12:39:38 pm
AND:It's NOT illegal to sell the chip.
Yes it is. As it is illegal to even send it abroad tor return back to the seller as any other counterfeit.


Why should it be illegal ? the chip is not a copy, its a rebuild from reverse engineering and datasheets. Thats legal in the complete eu and in many other countries. in china, where the chips are developed its legal too. So can you me name ANY real reason why this chips should be illegal ?
If you can find a single clone that is not marked as FT232, then maybe. But I'm not aware of such existing, as they are mostly prolific clones. Anyway now people are yelling about bricking devices where are chips with FTDI and FT232Rx written on them indeed. I'm not big supporter of such tactics, but i think that technically it is OK to do in legal aspect.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 12:45:01 pm
I bought an FTDI cable from farnell, it came with no driver so FTDI seem to be maliciously using microsoft as a distribution medium as a device that was originally installed by windows is more likely to have an update installed for it by windows......

If FTDI supplied a driver then they could remote;ly argue that they aren't responsible for the choice of drivers used.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 12:52:41 pm
AND:It's NOT illegal to sell the chip.
Yes it is. As it is illegal to even send it abroad tor return back to the seller as any other counterfeit.


Why should it be illegal ? the chip is not a copy, its a rebuild from reverse engineering and datasheets. Thats legal in the complete eu and in many other countries. in china, where the chips are developed its legal too. So can you me name ANY real reason why this chips should be illegal ?
If you can find a single clone that is not marked as FT232, then maybe. But I'm not aware of such existing, as they are mostly prolific clones. Anyway now people are yelling about bricking devices where are chips with FTDI and FT232Rx written on them indeed. I'm not big supporter of such tactics, but i think that technically it is OK to do in legal aspect.

The thing is, the driver will destroy the chips that are not marked as FTDI too. In germany(and I think EU too) we have laws against this.

Technically all you can do is okay. But technically if FTDI has a security problem of his computers it's okay too to steal all it's IP and sell it to china. They are dumb enough to don't close the security flaw, so they must suffer. But shall we really think just technically ?

I think its really dumb to do that, because it's just breaks old payd working devices, and some new ones. The new ones will now equiped with better fakes or chips from other vendors. The win of this is volatile. the image problem for FTDI will remain.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 23, 2014, 12:53:59 pm
So what makes it impossible that someone in china bought 1k FTDI chips and is willing to sell them to me at cost+shipping+margin ending up cheaper than Farnell at 5, 10 or 20 quantity?
Nothing, but if you buy from a source that doesn't offer the traceability of distributors, that's a chance you're willing to take. You're also willing to accept that the parts may have suffered from ESD damage, been improperly stored and all the other things distributors take care of.

Edit:And if the war runs long enough, chinese cloners have perfect rebuilds that works like the original with no chance to test for the driver.
That goes without saying. The only question is how long it takes for the current generation of clones to disappear from the market.

Why should it be illegal ? the chip is not a copy, its a rebuild from reverse engineering and datasheets. Thats legal in the complete eu and in many other countries. in china, where the chips are developed its legal too. So can you me name ANY real reason why this chips should be illegal ?
The chips are sold as FTDI chips, bearing the FTDI markings. That makes them counterfeits, and selling them is not legal in the EU.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 01:02:51 pm
So what makes it impossible that someone in china bought 1k FTDI You're also willing to accept that the parts may have suffered from ESD damage, been improperly stored and all the other things distributors take care of.


And would you like a tin hat to go with that ? I've never had problems and use paper bags

I bought 1000 ATmega328's from Farnell only to find that they were packed in the shittiest tubes I've ever seen (looked more like extra thick socket tubes) with wrong sized rubber plugs, they fell out got all bent up in the box and some didn't even work, god knows how they ended up in non atmel branded tubes of random lengths. I could be forgiven for thinking they had been swept up from a factory floor and repackaged.......

Good news is that I program the arduino bootloaders myself so any dodgy ones show up and get canned by me.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hans on October 23, 2014, 01:06:29 pm
I can think of 2 issues why FTDI would do this, and why they should not do this:

The biggest problem I can think of is support for FTDI. If a customer have had a batch made in China, came back for compliance testing and failed on the USB part. "But I thought we were using the FTDI chip correctly - all engineering data looked OK; let's contact FTDI!". It would be a very nasty surprise for both parties if it turns out the chips were fake. I suspect they have had numerous cases of this happening, which had maybe costed them a lot of money and faith for those customers. Resetting the Vendor ID sounds like:  "get of my USB lawn!" - which is OK-ish.

However their software states you can only use it with official FTDI chips. Unless I have read over it, but does that also reserve them the right to interface and interact with chips that are not official FTDI? If it does, then it was OK in the first place to use FTDI-compliant chips with their driver. But that is obviously not what they want.
So I assume their driver license excludes the usage of unofficial FTDI chips with their driver - so why they the hell are they interfacing with it in the first place and change the ID? Or will they defend this as the only detection mechanism for a counterfeit chip?

I would have thought a better solution would be that the FTDI chip wouldn't enumerate and display the device descriptor as "Counterfeit FT232RL". Bricking the chips and affecting end customers is rather.. how the Chinese works. They will probably be beaten by experience at that level.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 01:09:51 pm

Why should it be illegal ? the chip is not a copy, its a rebuild from reverse engineering and datasheets. Thats legal in the complete eu and in many other countries. in china, where the chips are developed its legal too. So can you me name ANY real reason why this chips should be illegal ?
The chips are sold as FTDI chips, bearing the FTDI markings. That makes them counterfeits, and selling them is not legal in the EU.

No, the CHIPS are marked as SR1107 SUPEREAL, the epoxid where the chips in are marked as FTDI. But are you sure all chips hat FTDI cases ? I'm not.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 23, 2014, 01:15:33 pm
No, the CHIPS are marked as SR1107 SUPEREAL, the epoxid where the chips in are marked as FTDI. But are you sure all chips hat FTDI cases ? I'm not.
Show me even one instance where that has happened. As far as I'm concerned, it's just hyperbole and hypotheticals.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 23, 2014, 01:15:50 pm
But shall we really think just technically ?
That's what lawyers and judicial system are for. So bastards can technically be clean and get away according to the law  :-DD.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 01:24:30 pm
I understand there are a lot of angry people out there. But I have some remarks to think about.

1. FTDI detects that the chips are counterfeit, however the process of doing this bricks the counterfeit chips. The copy is not functional equivalent to the real FTDI chip and therefor stops working.
2. After this detection process the chip is left in a undefined state. Is it really the task of FTDI to clean this up?
3. If they choose to do the test and restore the content of the eeprom it will also result in a massive failure of devices. Because frequently programming and erassing an eeprom will certaintly destroy it. Keep in mind that the FTDI device eeprom is not programmed using this detection circuit.

I agree, that this detection method is a lost cause. Because counterfeit chips will have the same behaviour in approximately 3 to 4 months. This will make them even harder to detect.

Comparing INTEL vs AMD is not a good comparising in this case, because they have cross licensing deals. AMD did not reverse engineer the chips, but had a license to produce the design from INTEL for INTEL. AMD manufactored copyright by INTEL and so on.

FTDI is only preventing user from using their driver with counterfeit chips. There is nothing wrong with this.
This process also prevents reverting to older driver. For now this works.

The question is also how good do these chips work and are they fully compatible. The answer for now is NO and therefor can't be used with the FTDI driver.

The USB vendor id and product id are reserved for and by FTDI. Using them results in a non working plug and play system.

The chips are sold as counterfeits and therefor they should not be used. This is very simple and is valid in the whole of europe.  A fake Rolex will also be destroyed and the buyer is responsible for this. Actually buying counterfeit products is a crime.

Ok my thoughts on the subject.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 01:28:47 pm
So...
there's this drug dealer.
He sells the good stuff.
And there's these people who like drugs.
So they buy lots of drugs from him
and then some other dealer moves in
and sells drugs of lesser quality... but similar
So they start going to this new guy
and the older dealer?
what does he do?
RIGHT
he shoots the junkies.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 01:38:06 pm
1. FTDI detects that the chips are counterfeit, however the process of doing this bricks the counterfeit chips. The copy is not functional equivalent to the real FTDI chip and therefor stops working.
2. After this detection process the chip is left in a undefined state. Is it really the task of FTDI to clean this up?
This is incorrect. FTDI doesn't actually detect that the chips are counterfeit at all. The driver, instead, uncoditionally, and without feedback, issues a set of commands that have been carefully and meticulously crafted to do nothing to a real FT232RL (and only FT232RL - they'd almost certainly brick other FT*** chips!) while bricking a counterfeit chip. The driver doesn't even check if the device was bricked/modified/a clone. In fact, I believe the driver will work fine with a clone the first time it's plugged in - until the device is reset, the new EEPROM content is applied, and the brick becomes evident.

3. If they choose to do the test and restore the content of the eeprom it will also result in a massive failure of devices. Because frequently programming and erassing an eeprom will certaintly destroy it. Keep in mind that the FTDI device eeprom is not programmed using this detection circuit.
EEPROMs are usually pretty resilient (unlike Flash), and only counterfeit chips would actually be programmed, and then only once each time they are enumerated. This would not affect their customers, nor will it realistically affect the clones either, unless their EEPROM array is crap.

This is unquestionably a deliberate act by FTDI to brick clone devices. It's not a "clone detection that unfortunately bricks them". They went for the kill, going as far as reversing their own checksum routine to be able to bypass the checksum in a way that only takes effect on clones. I suspect someone at FTDI might think they're safe because "well, we issue the same commands to all chips, it's not our fault that only clones are affected!!!!", but that's not going to stand up in court when it is evident and unquestionable that the code has been designed for the sole purpose and effect of bricking clone chips.

FTDI is only preventing user from using their driver with counterfeit chips. There is nothing wrong with this.
Uh, no. FTDI's driver makes the victim device not work with *any* driver. FTDI did not write the driver that Linux uses. Plugging a clone into a Windows box running FTDI's driver will make it stop working on a Linux box which has nothing to do with their intellectual property. This is deliberate destruction (or at least damage) of property, and almost certainly illegal in most reasonable jurisdictions.

For now this works.
You mean for now this doesn't work and people's devices are now broken.

The question is also how good do these chips work and are they fully compatible.
They were until FTDI decided to latch onto implementation minutiae to destroy them. There's a difference between a functional clone and a 100% perfect bug-compatible replica.

The USB vendor id and product id are reserved for and by FTDI.
If you want to use the USB logo.

Using them results in a non working plug and play system.
No, using them results in their driver being loaded. Or someone else's driver for FTDI chips (like the one in Linux). Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, I would strongly consider using their VID and PID if I were writing USB-serial firmware for something and wanted it to work anywhere (though I'd probably end up going for CDC if that works out of the box on Windows these days). And it would be perfectly legitimate. It's a number, and FTDI have no legal protection from others using it.

The chips are sold as counterfeits and therefor they should not be used.
Agreed. This, unfortunately, has nothing to do with the unlucky manufacturers and especially end-users who unintentionally ended up with counterfeits.

This is very simple and is valid in the whole of europe.  A fake Rolex will also be destroyed and the buyer is responsible for this. Actually buying counterfeit products is a crime.
Nope. Only in France and Italy. Buying counterfeit products is legal in the rest of the world. You're even allowed to knowingly import one counterfeit item per class into the US. *Selling* counterfeit products is illegal. Buyers/end-users have no fault in any of this, and destroying their hardware because it's counterfeit is *WRONG*.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 23, 2014, 01:42:50 pm
If you can find a single clone that is not marked as FT232, then maybe. But I'm not aware of such existing, as they are mostly prolific clones. Anyway now people are yelling about bricking devices where are chips with FTDI and FT232Rx written on them indeed. I'm not big supporter of such tactics, but i think that technically it is OK to do in legal aspect.
Yes there are certainly FT232-compatible ICs with no FTDI markings on them (http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=5861063&cid=48206385).

I did a bit more digging on 'Supereal' and found that they also make a USB-ethernet IC. (http://siliconpr0n.org/archive/doku.php?id=azonenberg:supereal:sr1002). Note that there are absolutely no markings on the IC, but the die has "SUPEREAL SR1002" on it. Following the lead that this is supposed to be an "RD9700"-compatible IC (another obscure Chinese part), I found the "SR9700" and traced that to this Chinese company (http://www.corechip-sz.com/enproductsview.asp?id=13), which also happens to make a USB-serial IC (http://www.corechip-sz.com/enproductsview.asp?id=18) named the "SR6866" (or SR6865, depending on which page of the site you trust...) and another curiously-named SR2303HX - a Prolific clone. I think we have a match.

tl;dr: These "fake" FT232-compatible ICs are produced by a Chinese company named CoreChips, with their own part numbers, and they are almost certainly not selling them with FTDI markings - as this image of the Prolific clone shows (http://img.007swz.com/cpimg/shoujiIC/vp2OWwQlpC_1250107370.jpg). It's legal to create a competing and compatible product through reverse-engineering. It's not legal to put FTDI's name on it, which is probably being done by someone else downstream.

Quote
Comparing INTEL vs AMD is not a good comparising in this case, because they have cross licensing deals. AMD did not reverse engineer the chips, but had a license to produce the design from INTEL for INTEL. AMD manufactored copyright by INTEL and so on
They now have cross-licensing, but AMD reverse-engineered and cloned the 386. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am386)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 23, 2014, 02:01:24 pm
Oh, I remembered about one more clone with Belarus origin. Stumbled on it more than a year ago but completely forgot about it. Seems to ship only in the die form, yay  ;D
Datasheet: http://www.bms.by/eng/spec/PDF/IZ232e-ts.pdf (http://www.bms.by/eng/spec/PDF/IZ232e-ts.pdf)
(https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/?action=dlattach;attach=114329;image)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 02:10:43 pm
This is incorrect. FTDI doesn't actually detect that the chips are counterfeit at all. The driver, instead, uncoditionally, and without feedback, issues a set of commands that have been carefully and meticulously crafted to do nothing to a real FT232RL (and only FT232RL - they'd almost certainly brick other FT*** chips!) while bricking a counterfeit chip. The driver doesn't even check if the device was bricked/modified/a clone. In fact, I believe the driver will work fine with a clone the first time it's plugged in - until the device is reset, the new EEPROM content is applied, and the brick becomes evident.

The question here is, is it possible for FTDI to detect if the chip is counterfeit in another way?
I do not think so! They probably spend a lot of time figuring this method out.
Also configuration data will only be read once, hence the one time run.
From my experience eeproms do not last that long. I have seen device which where guaranteed for 250 write/read cycles which only survived a few read/write cycles.

This is unquestionably a deliberate act by FTDI to brick clone devices. It's not a "clone detection that unfortunately bricks them". They went for the kill, going as far as reversing their own checksum routine to be able to bypass the checksum in a way that only takes effect on clones. I suspect someone at FTDI might think they're safe because "well, we issue the same commands to all chips, it's not our fault that only clones are affected!!!!", but that's not going to stand up in court when it is evident and unquestionable that the code has been designed for the sole purpose and effect of bricking clone chips.
FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them. 


Uh, no. FTDI's driver makes the victim device not work with *any* driver. FTDI did not write the driver that Linux uses. Plugging a clone into a Windows box running FTDI's driver will make it stop working on a Linux box which has nothing to do with their intellectual property. This is deliberate destruction (or at least damage) of property, and almost certainly illegal in most reasonable jurisdictions.
Actually they just erase the product id. That is all you can easy reprogram it.

You mean for now this doesn't work and people's devices are now broken.
I mean that counterfeit IC cann't be used for now with the new drivers.

They were until FTDI decided to latch onto implementation minutiae to destroy them. There's a difference between a functional clone and a 100% perfect bug-compatible replica.
No, they are not. They do not pass the new test system to detect if they are a clone. Therefor they are not compatible. Many PC compatibles in the 80 where also not  compatible.

If you want to use the USB logo.
No, these ID's are used to assign a driver to the chip through the INF file. For instance in the PCI system if you chose to use 8086 as vendor id and 8259 as product ID I am sure you end up with a non functioning PC.
The same applies also for the USB. This is the only way for the OS/BIOS/EFI to detect new hardware and assign the right driver. They should be unique ID's. You pay $5000 so that you are ensured they are unique.

No, using them results in their driver being loaded. Or someone else's driver for FTDI chips (like the one in Linux). Nothing more, nothing less. In fact, I would strongly consider using their VID and PID if I were writing USB-serial firmware for something and wanted it to work anywhere (though I'd probably end up going for CDC if that works out of the box on Windows these days). And it would be perfectly legitimate. It's a number, and FTDI have no legal protection from others using it.
Try assigning some random numbers to your USB devices and see what happens on Linux also. You need a VID and PID and the system works by uniqueness of these numbers.

Agreed. This, unfortunately, has nothing to do with the unlucky manufacturers and especially end-users who unintentionally ended up with counterfeits.
It is the responsibility from the manufactor to check their sources.

Nope. Only in France and Italy. Buying counterfeit products is legal in the rest of the world. You're even allowed to knowingly import one counterfeit item per class into the US. *Selling* counterfeit products is illegal. Buyers/end-users have no fault in any of this, and destroying their hardware because it's counterfeit is *WRONG*.
I think here in the Netherlands you can leave it behind on the airport and may be lucky when you do not get a fine.

P.s. How many non-functioning devices you got?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 02:16:49 pm
Quote
FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them. 

If I wrote a virus which was piggybacked along with another piece of software, and it completely takes out your computer; wipes your bios (attempting to flash and re-flash it to the point of exhausting the write-life), knocks out your boot sector, and deletes your windows folder, then claim "if you didn't want that to happen, you shouldn't have run my software on any machine but ones I sell" would you say that's just fine and legal?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 02:18:29 pm
I understand there are a lot of angry people out there. But I have some remarks to think about.

1. FTDI detects that the chips are counterfeit, however the process of doing this bricks the counterfeit chips. The copy is not functional equivalent to the real FTDI chip and therefor stops working.
This is where you are wrong already. The 'counterfeit' chip isn't a copy. It is a functional equivalent. Just like you can buy PC processors from AMD.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: andersm on October 23, 2014, 02:19:01 pm
And would you like a tin hat to go with that ? I've never had problems and use paper bags
I've bought some ATtinys off of eBay, and they arrived stuck in a piece of styrofoam packaged in a ziploc bag. They seem to work, but I would not use them for anything I would sell, or was in any way safety-related.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 02:19:55 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip, i mean having to accept "non signed" windows drivers is not something that has stopped major manufacturers and software houses. If they choose to imitate someone else's ID in order to appropriate their driver they can't complain if they have not made their chips compatible with the driver. It's not like serial to USB converter chips are bleeding edge technology that only comes from one manufacturer.

Yes it's not a problem with a short term solution so arguing about one is pointless. What is needed is to track down the counterfeiter and sue them, ah but then cross continent lawsuits are probably a minefield.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 02:20:29 pm
By the way, that is the SILabs competing part? I may as well start looking at them while I wait to hear back from FTDI on something (In spite of KRP8's claim, I have a product which has shipped a few thousand of these parts this year alone, with the major release tentatively coming up Q1-15. :|
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 02:21:46 pm
And would you like a tin hat to go with that ? I've never had problems and use paper bags
I've bought some ATtinys off of eBay, and they arrived stuck in a piece of styrofoam packaged in a ziploc bag. They seem to work, but I would not use them for anything I would sell, or was in any way safety-related.

Of course that is an extremely stupid way to package them, there are small time sellers and "ebay monkeys".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 02:27:51 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip,.........

Frankly speaking, and call me a bigot if you need, but many Chinese manufacturers operate on cloning for cost reduction and not innovation. They're essentially not setup or tooled for that kind of software dev, they look for easy ways to make money with surprisingly old tech. A few state-funded reverse engineering labs are setup to break down "important" parts (which is why the US has such a raging hard-on for ITAR) and then passes along "State interest" parts for production. In the mean time of lulls, different operations use these facilities to reverse engineer various other devices from TI, LTC, ADI, etc. The key, for them, is to get "good enough" to copy-cat higher dollar devices, and then the gap is pure profit with essentially zero R&D costs (again, the state RE labs are usually a different bucket).

What I expect to see, honestly, is a slight change to the clones which inhibit the write, and then FTDI is back to square one, with a large consumer base that is FTDI phobic. Any man can create a lock which he himself cannot pick.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 02:31:32 pm
Quote
FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them. 

If I wrote a virus which was piggybacked along with another piece of software, and it completely takes out your computer; wipes your bios (attempting to flash and re-flash it to the point of exhausting the write-life), knocks out your boot sector, and deletes your windows folder, then claim "if you didn't want that to happen, you shouldn't have run my software on any machine but ones I sell" would you say that's just fine and legal?

How would you detect that I am using the machine you sell?

The problem is that FTDI is writting and maintaining the driver, while other manufactors use it without paying them.  So they search for a ways of preventing you to use it with the cheap rip off. Because the persons making the rip off are too lazy to:
1. Write the code themself or not capable
2. To pay the costs involved with validation of the USB device.

So FTDI comes up with a method of detecting that it is counterfeit, However, this damages the fake product.
Keep in mind that this is not a virus. It does not go out and find all fake FTDI chips and destroys them.
Your product does that. Why should I use your software with another PC.

Also another importanted question is always how to pay the rent. FTDI needs to pay it employees and it can only do that when other people do not sell reproductions/copies of there product.

I understand you feel  very strongly about this. But in the end a company must make a profit to stay alive.
Which it only can when it is selling product.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 02:34:26 pm
err surely they had to spend time reverse engineering an FTDI then making something to "look" like it. They could have done what the arduino did and just programmed an MCU with a usb and serial port to work as a converter or made their own ASIC

Yes china is essentially the photocopier of the world, and before people get indignant about that statement, i used to work for a guy that wanted to import clothes from china, we kept asking for catalogs and all we got back was: you send us a sample, we copy it and send it to you if your happy you tell us how many you want. They openly declared to not have any clothes of their own design.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 02:38:37 pm
Quote
FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them. 

If I wrote a virus which was piggybacked along with another piece of software, and it completely takes out your computer; wipes your bios (attempting to flash and re-flash it to the point of exhausting the write-life), knocks out your boot sector, and deletes your windows folder, then claim "if you didn't want that to happen, you shouldn't have run my software on any machine but ones I sell" would you say that's just fine and legal?

How would you detect that I am using the machine you sell?


In this case, I don't have to on the grounds that my machine is not subject to "suffering" from my code's actions. So, again, would you say this is just fine and legal?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 02:41:56 pm
err surely they had to spend time reverse engineering an FTDI then making something to "look" like it. They could have done what the arduino did and just programmed an MCU with a usb and serial port to work as a converter or made their own ASIC

From my limited understanding, this is exactly what the SupeReal device is, only it hooks into the FTDI interface on Windows PCs.

I wonder if the AVR CDC implementations can be sufficient substitutes for the FTDI devices....?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 02:44:14 pm
I don't understand all the protocol business but if the chip works and has a driver and conforms to the standards who cares how it is achieved.

I'm assuming the cheapest methos for mass production is an ASIC or maybe programming an existing uC is cheaper.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Richard Crowley on October 23, 2014, 02:45:22 pm
So FTDI comes up with a method of detecting that it is counterfeit, However, this damages the fake product.
Keep in mind that this is not a virus. It does not go out and find all fake FTDI chips and destroys them.
This seems like that old favorite: "plausible deniability".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 02:46:10 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip, i mean having to accept "non signed" windows drivers is not something that has stopped major manufacturers and software houses.

Do you tried that on a Win7 x64 system ? Good Luck...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 02:46:32 pm
Quote
FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them. 

If I wrote a virus which was piggybacked along with another piece of software, and it completely takes out your computer; wipes your bios (attempting to flash and re-flash it to the point of exhausting the write-life), knocks out your boot sector, and deletes your windows folder, then claim "if you didn't want that to happen, you shouldn't have run my software on any machine but ones I sell" would you say that's just fine and legal?

How would you detect that I am using the machine you sell?


In this case, I don't have to on the grounds that my machine is not subject to "suffering" from my code's actions. So, again, would you say this is just fine and legal?

Using a virus is never legal. That is very clear. Have to admit that I still do not understand what you try to prove/say here, sorry! Not a native english speaker.
However, if I made a PC which was similar in all functions to yours and adviced people to use a copy of your software. A copy of your software is provided on your webside for people who use your PC. What would you think of this? This is basically what happens to FTDI!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 02:47:28 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip, i mean having to accept "non signed" windows drivers is not something that has stopped major manufacturers and software houses.

Do you tried that on a Win7 x64 system ? Good Luck...

I have windows 7 64bit, any cheap peice of hardware generally comes with a non signed driver that i have to accept.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 02:55:23 pm
So FTDI comes up with a method of detecting that it is counterfeit, However, this damages the fake product.
Keep in mind that this is not a virus. It does not go out and find all fake FTDI chips and destroys them.
This seems like that old favorite: "plausible deniability".
Yes, that is true.

But I asked this question before. I do not know if FTDI had an another method of detecting the clone.
Because they are basically very good. I understand from this forum that many people use them without knowing. And printing FTDI on a counterfeit IC makes it even harder. FTDI did not make an open standard with a fixed VID and PID that can be used by a default driver. They do not maintain a driver for a product type, but only for their own device. P.s. I beleive it is a little bit more complex than only the VID/PID for selecting a device group like a keyboard etc.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 03:02:26 pm
But I asked this question before. I do not know if FTDI had an another method of detecting the clone.
Because they are basically very good. I understand from this forum that many people use them without knowing. And printing FTDI on a counterfeit IC makes it even harder. FTDI did not make an open standard with a fixed VID and PID that can be used by a default driver. They do not maintain a driver for a product type, but only for their own device. P.s. I beleive it is a little bit more complex than only the VID/PID for selecting a device group like a keyboard etc.

They could have shown a messagebox to the end-user (or refuse to start the driver) and revert the PID back to what it was instead of leaving it zeroed out. It's easy, they could just have checked if the write has worked by reading the EEPROM back and if yes, refuse to start the driver and rewrite the original PID. It's probably only 10 more lines of code in the driver.

They intentionally break the clones and they could have done it another way. This is reckless.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 03:04:33 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip, i mean having to accept "non signed" windows drivers is not something that has stopped major manufacturers and software houses.

Do you tried that on a Win7 x64 system ? Good Luck...

I have windows 7 64bit, any cheap peice of hardware generally comes with a non signed driver that i have to accept.

Aeehm, my computer runs in the testsigning mode, so I can run my self compiled (and self signed) driver. A driver without signature will not run even there. Maybee you accept the "not microsoft compliant" message. But not signed drivers will not run anymore in win7 64.

see here for more info:https://www.raymond.cc/blog/loading-unsigned-drivers-in-windows-7-and-vista-64-bit-x64/
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 03:05:31 pm
But I asked this question before. I do not know if FTDI had an another method of detecting the clone.
Because they are basically very good. I understand from this forum that many people use them without knowing. And printing FTDI on a counterfeit IC makes it even harder. FTDI did not make an open standard with a fixed VID and PID that can be used by a default driver. They do not maintain a driver for a product type, but only for their own device. P.s. I beleive it is a little bit more complex than only the VID/PID for selecting a device group like a keyboard etc.

They could have shown a messagebox to the end-user (or refuse to start the driver) and revert the PID back to what it was instead of leaving it zeroed out. It's easy, they could just have checked if the write has worked by reading the EEPROM back and if yes, refuse to start the driver and rewrite the original PID. It's probably only 10 more lines of code in the driver.

They intentionally break the clones and they could have done it another way. This is reckless.

It's unfortunate that this hits the end user and it's too late for the money lost to the cloners. I suppose lots of angry customers going up the supply chain demainding answers might weed out bad supply chains and make major suppliers very aware that they much buy from genuine sources.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 23, 2014, 03:08:33 pm
The question here is, is it possible for FTDI to detect if the chip is counterfeit in another way?
I do not think so! They probably spend a lot of time figuring this method out.
I bet there are other ways of detecting them. I don't have any clones myself, so I can't test, but it's extremely unlikely that the cloners nailed everything else but this. And even if they did, it would still be way better to read-modify-write-restore the EEPROM as a detection mechanism, rather than, again, going for damage.

FTDI doesn't have to guarantee that there code works with chips of someone else. Many manufactors warn for non-functioning equipment when their drivers are used with products, which are not produced by them.
There's a difference between code that happens not to work on another device, and code whose sole purpose is to destroy another device. "Only use manufacturer-approved equipment" is not a valid legal veil to hide behind while you explicitly set out to destroy non-compliant equipment. It's (usually) legal to detect and refuse to work with knockoffs (not always - antitrust laws come into play here, and sometimes even that can be illegal). Deliberately causing damage is crossing the line.

Actually they just erase the product id. That is all you can easy reprogram it.
Linux still won't load the driver. That's still causing deliberate damage, even if it's reversible.

I mean that counterfeit IC cann't be used for now with the new drivers.
Hence, don't work. It's a negative state of affairs, particularly for the owners of said devices.

No, they are not. They do not pass the new test system to detect if they are a clone. Therefor they are not compatible. Many PC compatibles in the 80 where also not  compatible.
You seem to be confusing compatibility with 100% identical behavior. Intel and AMD CPUs are largely compatible. They're also trivial to tell apart. Even AMD's original (much simpler, compared to modern chips) Am486 was completely compatible with the 80486, but dedicated code designed to tell it apart could still do so.

You can buy Philips screwdrivers from two manufacturers. They are compatible. Doesn't mean they have to be the same color, material, or have all the atoms in exactly the same place. Just because I can look at them and tell them apart doesn't mean they aren't compatible.

No, these ID's are used to assign a driver to the chip through the INF file. For instance in the PCI system if you chose to use 8086 as vendor id and 8259 as product ID I am sure you end up with a non functioning PC.
Actually, that product ID is unused by Intel right now, so absolutely nothing bad would happen, and if your device is of a standard device class, it'll even work fine with generic drivers. For example, I could build a PCI SD Host Controller interface with those IDs, and it would work fine. Intel might not be amused, and it would be a silly idea, but harmless. If Intel ever releases a device with that ID, then indeed it would cause a conflict. However, if I designed a device register-compatible with an Intel device and used its same ID, again, practically speaking, nothing bad would happen. In fact, that is exactly what all virtualization solutions like VMWare, VirtualBox, and QEMU do, all the time. I have myself written a virtual USB xHCI controller for QEMU, and yes, it could emulate one of two different chips, and yes, it used their VID/PID, and yes, it even had to deal with some retarded "anti-clone" vendor-specific commands, and no, it wasn't 100% bug-for-bug compatible, but it was close enough to work.

The same applies also for the USB. This is the only way for the OS/BIOS/EFI to detect new hardware and assign the right driver. They should be unique ID's. You pay $5000 so that you are ensured they are unique.
You pay $5000 for the right to use the USB logo. Yes, the IDs should be unique. No, there is no legal protection nor guarantee that they are, unless you use the USB logo. The world doesn't end if you use someone else's ID, especially if you do it in a compatible way.

Try assigning some random numbers to your USB devices and see what happens on Linux also. You need a VID and PID and the system works by uniqueness of these numbers.
Actually, the vast majority of the USB devices that people use every day are identified by class codes, not VID/PID - mass storage, HID, CDC, even the PCI controllers (UHCI, OHCI, xHCI). VID/PID only have to be unique for a particular proprietary device interface. Nobody cares about what VID/PID you use for a standard device (as long as they don't conflict with a proprietary one, which might result in their driver being assigned), and again, there's nothing wrong with masquerading as another device if you intend to be compatible with it. You're taking a risk, but that's a compatibility risk, and it's not reasonable to expect direct gunfire from the other side in return.

It is the responsibility from the manufactor to check their sources.
Sure, and everyone demands a paper trail and armed guards across the entire chain of custody, to make sure no counterfeits slip in, right?

It sucks when these things happen, but placing all the blame on the final assembler/manufacturer is grossly oversimplifying things. You have no idea what happened that led to counterfeits being used in an end product.

I think here in the Netherlands you can leave it behind on the airport and may be lucky when you do not get a fine.
Funny, the first Google result (http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/individuals/abroad_and_customs/luggage/from_a_non_eu_country/special_products_and_pets/counterfeit_products) for "netherlands counterfeit goods" proves you wrong. There's an exception for personal use, within reasonable limits. Seriously, before you argue with someone on the Internet about your own country's laws, you might want to at least do a cursory check...

P.s. How many non-functioning devices you got?
None, but I've developed a rather strong disgust for people who destroy end-user hardware through gross negligence or deliberate action, over the past 8 years or so, due to certain communities I've been involved in, and I've done my best to make sure that my software never does that, not even in the least likely of circumstances. I have a very strong respect for people's hardware.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 03:11:06 pm
It's unfortunate that this hits the end user and it's too late for the money lost to the cloners. I suppose lots of angry customers going up the supply chain demainding answers might weed out bad supply chains and make major suppliers very aware that they much buy from genuine sources.

As a FTDI customer, I have absolutely no way of checking if I have a genuine FTDI part or not.
FTDI in their EULA asks people to check if the components are genuine before using the driver, but they give absolutely no way of doing so.

As I said, even the military has been sold counterfeit items in the past. It can happen to anyone.
So as a customer it feels safer just to avoid FTDI parts altogether (there are alternatives) than risking my device bricked some day.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 03:13:20 pm
(lots of comments)

You are my hero.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 23, 2014, 03:15:23 pm
There's a difference between code that happens not to work on another device, and code whose sole purpose is to destroy another device.

But the device was not destroyed. An invalid PID was corrected and the device was actually improved.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 03:16:10 pm
There's a difference between code that happens not to work on another device, and code whose sole purpose is to destroy another device.

But the device was not destroyed. An invalid PID was corrected and the device was actually improved.

:-DD

You work for FTDI right ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 03:16:29 pm
As a FTDI customer, I have absolutely no way of checking if I have a genuine FTDI part or not.
FTDI in their EULA asks people to check if the components are genuine before using the driver, but they give absolutely no way of doing so.

I've submitted a support request to FTDI (Huzzah for being from a large Semi manufacturer who uses their parts on eval boards) to get an EOL software test. If parts fry, at least kill them before they hit the end customer. I'll post if I hear anything back.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 03:18:55 pm
Given all the ruckus about "it doesn't destroy anything, it just..." how about some dictionary definition straight from Merriam Webster:

de·stroy verb \di-?stro?i, d?-\
: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist
: to cause the destruction of (something)
: to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

I'd say that for the majority-use-case, #3 is the cake that FTDI takes.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 23, 2014, 03:19:38 pm
There's a difference between code that happens not to work on another device, and code whose sole purpose is to destroy another device.

But the device was not destroyed. An invalid PID was corrected and the device was actually improved.

No your motherboard is not destroyed, just your BIOS is wiped....
Oh, your car is not destroyed, we can bend it to that it just looks as new....

can you say me where's the difference ?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 23, 2014, 03:33:25 pm
But the device was not destroyed. An invalid PID was corrected and the device was actually improved.

No your motherboard is not destroyed, just your BIOS is wiped....
Oh, your car is not destroyed, we can bend it to that it just looks as new....

can you say me where's the difference ?
[/quote]

Don't fall for the trolls.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 03:35:32 pm
Given all the ruckus about "it doesn't destroy anything, it just..." how about some dictionary definition straight from Merriam Webster:

de·stroy verb \di-?stro?i, d?-\
: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist
: to cause the destruction of (something)
: to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

I'd say that for the majority-use-case, #3 is the cake that FTDI takes.

Talking of definitions, in UK law, damage does not need to be permanent to still count as criminal damage. e.g. letting car tyres down.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Xpendable on October 23, 2014, 03:36:21 pm
First time poster here.  I consider myself a hobbyist when it comes to electronics.  I have a VERY small side business where I make a controller used primarily in the Halloween industry for pneumatic prop animation control.  For the past few months I have been working on a new design, and I had originally planned on using an FTDI232RL chip to handle host communications - an important component to my product.  After seeing this, I think a better move for me would be to move to the ATmega32u4 instead of using an FTDI chip.  I of course would only have wanted to use genuine FTDI chips.  I have only ever bought parts from DigiKey, Mouser, or element14.  My bare boards are made in China.  Right now I hand assemble every product myself with a hot air reflow station.  I'm small potatoes... I sell less than 100 controllers a year but.  But this thing with FTDI scares the crap out of me.  I'm left wondering if a bunch of devices I have from other companies are now going to be "bricked".  Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tggzzz on October 23, 2014, 03:42:10 pm
For the FTDI programmer's sake, I hope bricking of equipment connected to government computers isn't interpreted as a cyber attack on national security!

http://slashdot.org/story/14/10/23/1235205/proposed-penalty-for-uk-hackers-who-damage-national-security-life (http://slashdot.org/story/14/10/23/1235205/proposed-penalty-for-uk-hackers-who-damage-national-security-life)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 23, 2014, 03:45:09 pm
A good analogy with the VID for USB would be the MAC address for IPv6.
My company identifies their products through the IPv6 address which is directly related to the MAC address, so if another company wants to clone our devices it should use the same range of MAC addresses. BUT since anybody can change his MAC address ( on a pc for instance) this can never be the sole way to identify that product. So there should always be some kind of cryptographic handshake performed to uniquely identify that product and if t is not genuine the communication ends.
That is where FTDI misses the ball, they think that no other chip is allowed to use their VID so they can do whatever they want with those chips. No company has the right to do that based on some unprotected number. They should just id the chip and if it is not theirs stop the driver thats all they should ever do.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 03:45:09 pm
Given all the ruckus about "it doesn't destroy anything, it just..." how about some dictionary definition straight from Merriam Webster:

de·stroy verb \di-?stro?i, d?-\
: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist
: to cause the destruction of (something)
: to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

I'd say that for the majority-use-case, #3 is the cake that FTDI takes.

Talking of definitions, in UK law, damage does not need to be permanent to still count as criminal damage. e.g. letting car tyres down.

I totally agree. The whole point is that people are throwing around "it's not destroyed" in a way that tries to evade the very meaning of "destroy." Even by the definition, they're doing just that.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: _Sin on October 23, 2014, 04:05:21 pm
Anyone remember MOS? They made 6800 compatible processors for a fraction of the price that Motorola were selling them. Was MOS leeching off Motorola, making use of their compilers, software written for their ICs, their development systems, their emulators? There is a fine line between cloning and just making compatible hardware, and that line is etching an FTDI logo onto the chip.

The made a chip which was pin compatible, but not software compatible...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: weilawei on October 23, 2014, 04:10:40 pm
Given all the ruckus about "it doesn't destroy anything, it just..." how about some dictionary definition straight from Merriam Webster:

de·stroy verb \di-?stro?i, d?-\
: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist
: to cause the destruction of (something)
: to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired

I'd say that for the majority-use-case, #3 is the cake that FTDI takes.

Talking of definitions, in UK law, damage does not need to be permanent to still count as criminal damage. e.g. letting car tyres down.

Not only that, but in most jurisdictions, unwanted alteration falls under "harm" or "destruction of property". You don't need to take a hammer to something--just modifying it without the consent of the owner is enough to constitute destruction of property.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: _Sin on October 23, 2014, 04:26:34 pm
I do wonder if FTDI actually got much legal advice before doing this. I especially wonder if right now they're frantically getting a lot *more* legal advice...

I can see the logic - "oh, we we're not detecting anything, it's just our driver happens to do something that on a buggy knock-off does something bad, it's not our fault that someone copied our chips badly but used our driver..." - while completely glossing over the fact that the *only* purpose to that code is to break those chips, and it's otherwise a completely unnecessary null operation on their own ones. i.e. obviously and demonstrably a deliberate act with a single purpose - to disable chips they didn't sell. I think they'll be lucky if there's not *some* market in which that won't turn out to be an expensive misjudgement.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rolycat on October 23, 2014, 04:41:00 pm
I think they'll be lucky if there's not *some* market in which that won't turn out to be an expensive misjudgement.

I think they'll be lucky if there's *any* market in which this won't turn out to be an expensive misjudgement.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tggzzz on October 23, 2014, 04:41:57 pm
Anyone remember MOS? They made 6800 compatible processors for a fraction of the price that Motorola were selling them.
And exactly what was the part number of that MOS Technology chip? Hint: it wasn't the 650x series.

The 650x series had essentially the same functional pinout as the 6800, but a radically different instruction set.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: leo_r on October 23, 2014, 04:48:39 pm
I have an Arduino compatible board purchased from Farnell which was built by a fairly reputable manufacturer.  It seems that it's detected as being a counterfeit by the FTDI driver.

Either this means that the chip is a counterfeit or that the driver is detecting it wrong. Either way it is *absolutely* NOT MY FAULT! I'd understand (to some degree) if I'd bought a $3 board off ebay, but in this case I didn't. There's evidently been some dishonesty at some point in the supply chain that has lead to this.

If I'm left with a dead device which I bought in good faith from a reputable supplier and manufacturer, how many others are? Supply chains are clearly not impervious to fake chips. I can't imagine how much pain a silent Windows update is going to cause people trying to debug this.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: bingo600 on October 23, 2014, 04:49:43 pm
Just found this link on AvrFreaks

http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2k0i7x/watch_that_windows_update_ftdi_drivers_are/clgviyl (http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2k0i7x/watch_that_windows_update_ftdi_drivers_are/clgviyl)
Seems line debricking is easy on linux.

But that still leaves around 95% of those people i know , in the dark.

/Bingo
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 04:51:00 pm
I bet there are other ways of detecting them. I don't have any clones myself, so I can't test, but it's extremely unlikely that the cloners nailed everything else but this. And even if they did, it would still be way better to read-modify-write-restore the EEPROM as a detection mechanism, rather than, again, going for damage.
It was more a question. And something to think about.
I am not sure but it is very likely that the configuration data is only read once. Need to read the standard for that.

There's a difference between code that happens not to work on another device, and code whose sole purpose is to destroy another device. "Only use manufacturer-approved equipment" is not a valid legal veil to hide behind while you explicitly set out to destroy non-compliant equipment. It's (usually) legal to detect and refuse to work with knockoffs (not always - antitrust laws come into play here, and sometimes even that can be illegal). Deliberately causing damage is crossing the line.
I think this is more law stuff which you showed I do not know anything about.

Linux still won't load the driver. That's still causing deliberate damage, even if it's reversible.
Problem with linux that devices with ID zero cann't be used?

Hence, don't work. It's a negative state of affairs, particularly for the owners of said devices.
I personally think this method is bad practice, but I can image that they do it.

You seem to be confusing compatibility with 100% identical behavior. Intel and AMD CPUs are largely compatible. They're also trivial to tell apart. Even AMD's original (much simpler, compared to modern chips) Am486 was completely compatible with the 80486, but dedicated code designed to tell it apart could still do so.

You can buy Philips screwdrivers from two manufacturers. They are compatible. Doesn't mean they have to be the same color, material, or have all the atoms in exactly the same place. Just because I can look at them and tell them apart doesn't mean they aren't compatible.
Read again. License vs copy is going on in all this text. AMD has a license and for the philips screwdriver you needed a license blablabla.
If AMD vs INTEL is so easy why does not NVIDIA make x86 CPU. Something to thing about.

Actually, that product ID is unused by Intel right now, so absolutely nothing bad would happen, and if your device is of a standard device class, it'll even work fine with generic drivers. For example, I could build a PCI SD Host Controller interface with those IDs, and it would work fine. Intel might not be amused, and it would be a silly idea, but harmless. If Intel ever releases a device with that ID, then indeed it would cause a conflict. However, if I designed a device register-compatible with an Intel device and used its same ID, again, practically speaking, nothing bad would happen. In fact, that is exactly what all virtualization solutions like VMWare, VirtualBox, and QEMU do, all the time. I have myself written a virtual USB xHCI controller for QEMU, and yes, it could emulate one of two different chips, and yes, it used their VID/PID, and yes, it even had to deal with some retarded "anti-clone" vendor-specific commands, and no, it wasn't 100% bug-for-bug compatible, but it was close enough to work.
Sorry, I did not check this ID, but you get my drift.
Emulating some one else device in software is a bit different than sellling a cloned chip  of it.
I tried to explain if you do not implement exactly the same register set then using some one else VID and PID maybe a mistake.

You pay $5000 for the right to use the USB logo. Yes, the IDs should be unique. No, there is no legal protection nor guarantee that they are, unless you use the USB logo. The world doesn't end if you use someone else's ID, especially if you do it in a compatible way.
No, there is no legal protection, but there is one organization for it.
No, the world doesn't end when you do this is your own hobby environment, but it will when you do in the real world. Modern PC work by a lot of standards which need to be implemented very carefully.

Actually, the vast majority of the USB devices that people use every day are identified by class codes, not VID/PID - mass storage, HID, CDC, even the PCI controllers (UHCI, OHCI, xHCI). VID/PID only have to be unique for a particular proprietary device interface. Nobody cares about what VID/PID you use for a standard device (as long as they don't conflict with a proprietary one, which might result in their driver being assigned), and again, there's nothing wrong with masquerading as another device if you intend to be compatible with it. You're taking a risk, but that's a compatibility risk, and it's not reasonable to expect direct gunfire from the other side in return.
Yes, I know see also another post from me good Google search though  :-+
Again you confuse an open standard Keyboard controllers mice, HD and so on.
They can use a standard drivers. But standard hardware still will have their own VID/PID,but use a generic driver.  Specialized hardware uses a unique VID/PID pair.
Masquerading the chip and providing your own drivers is no problem.

Sure, and everyone demands a paper trail and armed guards across the entire chain of custody, to make sure no counterfeits slip in, right?

It sucks when these things happen, but placing all the blame on the final assembler/manufacturer is grossly oversimplifying things. You have no idea what happened that led to counterfeits being used in an end product.
Yes, very much. It also sucks when you get counterfeit money too. Live sucks.

Funny, the first Google result (http://www.belastingdienst.nl/wps/wcm/connect/bldcontenten/belastingdienst/individuals/abroad_and_customs/luggage/from_a_non_eu_country/special_products_and_pets/counterfeit_products) for "netherlands counterfeit goods" proves you wrong. There's an exception for personal use, within reasonable limits. Seriously, before you argue with someone on the Internet about your own country's laws, you might want to at least do a cursory check...
I am sorry, for you that you need to get personal.
By the way read it very careful it states that in principle it is FORBIDDEN.
But as everything in the Netherlands it will be "Gedoogd". I would advice you to google for this word.  :palm:

None, but I've developed a rather strong disgust for people who destroy end-user hardware through gross negligence or deliberate action, over the past 8 years or so, due to certain communities I've been involved in, and I've done my best to make sure that my software never does that, not even in the least likely of circumstances. I have a very strong respect for people's hardware.
Yes, you have a very strong respect for some one else hardware, but none for their software, which I always find very strange. People pay without problems 1000 of euros for hardware, but do not want to pay for software.
I am always puzzled that all the world things that software comes for free. Most of the time it is, however one of the biggest challenges in a design to get the software correct.
So copying it is simple.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 04:54:16 pm
I do wonder if FTDI actually got much legal advice before doing this. I especially wonder if right now they're frantically getting a lot *more* legal advice...

I can see the logic - "oh, we we're not detecting anything, it's just our driver happens to do something that on a buggy knock-off does something bad, it's not our fault that someone copied our chips badly but used our driver..." - while completely glossing over the fact that the *only* purpose to that code is to break those chips, and it's otherwise a completely unnecessary null operation on their own ones. i.e. obviously and demonstrably a deliberate act with a single purpose - to disable chips they didn't sell. I think they'll be lucky if there's not *some* market in which that won't turn out to be an expensive misjudgement.
However for the vast majority of victims, the loss involved isn't enough to bother with.
The apportion of blame between FTDI & Microsoft may also be tricky to determine. 
I would _really_ like to know if MS knew about it though.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daveshah on October 23, 2014, 05:01:45 pm
I wonder if FTDI have pulled the update. http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip) (the latest version on their site) redirects to the v2.10 download - not sure if it always has done this or not?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 05:02:35 pm
A good analogy with the VID for USB would be the MAC address for IPv6.
My company identifies their products through the IPv6 address which is directly related to the MAC address, so if another company wants to clone our devices it should use the same range of MAC addresses. BUT since anybody can change his MAC address ( on a pc for instance) this can never be the sole way to identify that product. So there should always be some kind of cryptographic handshake performed to uniquely identify that product and if t is not genuine the communication ends.
That is where FTDI misses the ball, they think that no other chip is allowed to use their VID so they can do whatever they want with those chips. No company has the right to do that based on some unprotected number. They should just id the chip and if it is not theirs stop the driver thats all they should ever do.
A MAC address is in its nature not unique nor does it needs to be. As long as you have one MAC address on a segment it works correctly. The IPV6 address needs to be unique if some one clones them you get a lot of problems. Depending on routing packets may get lost and not arrive in the correct location.
Actually the VID/PID should be unique for every vendor, which registers itselfs by the USBsig and get one VID and I think that they can chopse the PID themselfs. This makes me wonder they can only support up to 65535 vendors.

To make things clear I think that FTDI made a big mess of this whole affair.
But I do understand why they do it.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: limbo on October 23, 2014, 05:03:58 pm
(http://image.bayimg.com/fd5208dbd505b90d30745bcfcc6fb77ed0a68d37.jpg)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 23, 2014, 05:19:38 pm
Is FTDI the only USB/Serial that has a driver in the default windows installation? 

If not, I don't see what advantage FTDI has these days considering the low cost of MCU/USB ICs.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 05:27:50 pm
Is FTDI the only USB/Serial that has a driver in the default windows installation? 

If not, I don't see what advantage FTDI has these days considering the low cost of MCU/USB ICs.
I don't know if it is the only one.
But it is probabely one of the few that is signed.

Most MCUs often offer a USB interface, but all the firmware you still need to write. Also you have to write a driver for such a device. You need to get the necessary IDs and once you have written the driver you need to get it signed. Complicated stuff.
The FTDI is a simple device with little logic needed and RS232 out. So you can hook it up to your device very easily.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hobbes on October 23, 2014, 05:38:29 pm

The chips are sold as counterfeits and therefor they should not be used. This is very simple and is valid in the whole of europe.  A fake Rolex will also be destroyed and the buyer is responsible for this. Actually buying counterfeit products is a crime.

Agreed. Although, a device showing the FTDI logo is a counterfeit product. A device that contains none of their IP and only behaves like their own, using the original USB ID and all, is technically not.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 23, 2014, 05:42:28 pm
By the way, I don't think anyone has brought this up yet.

How do we know that in the future this, or similar actions taken in FTDI's driver won't accidentally brick legitimate FTDI devices? I can easily envision a particular - maybe old - hardware version of one of their devices being left out of a test matrix and then suddenly FTDI (and their customers and customers' customers) are hoist by their own petard.

No, the risk is too great now to use FTDI chips - legitimate or otherwise - anymore.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: chicken on October 23, 2014, 05:52:30 pm
The apportion of blame between FTDI & Microsoft may also be tricky to determine. 
I would _really_ like to know if MS knew about it though.

I'm pretty sure FTDI had to sign legal agreements that put any responsibility onto themselves.

From "Windows Certification Program Hardware Certification Policies and Processes"
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34791 (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=34791)
Quote
Windows Certification Program Testing Agreement. This agreement includes language that is related to testing procedures, testing policies, intellectual property rights, support requirements, audit policies, payment policies, indemnification, warranty, liabilities, confidentiality, term and termination, metadata, and digital rights management (DRM) clauses. Signing this agreement is required for participation in the program.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: _Sin on October 23, 2014, 05:55:05 pm
By the way, I don't think anyone has brought this up yet.

How do we know that in the future this, or similar actions taken in FTDI's driver won't accidentally brick legitimate FTDI devices? I can easily envision a particular - maybe old - hardware version of one of their devices being left out of a test matrix and then suddenly FTDI (and their customers and customers' customers) are hoist by their own petard.

No, the risk is too great now to use FTDI chips - legitimate or otherwise - anymore.

The way the bricking works, that seems unlikely - there's no per-device detection, it's already 'trying' to brick all devices and authentic ones are just not vulnerable to the method used.

Mind you, this is a pretty gung-ho thing to do at all, so not inconceivable that they've overlooked an obscure variant, or in an escalating arms race do something riskier.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hpux735 on October 23, 2014, 06:05:40 pm
Is FTDI the only USB/Serial that has a driver in the default windows installation? 

If not, I don't see what advantage FTDI has these days considering the low cost of MCU/USB ICs.
I don't know if it is the only one.
But it is probabely one of the few that is signed.

Most MCUs often offer a USB interface, but all the firmware you still need to write. Also you have to write a driver for such a device. You need to get the necessary IDs and once you have written the driver you need to get it signed. Complicated stuff.
The FTDI is a simple device with little logic needed and RS232 out. So you can hook it up to your device very easily.

That's not that complicated.  I'm sure Dean Camera would be happy to accept a license fee for his LUFA USB CDC firmware.  In fact, I suspect that the price delta between a hardware USB atmel and the FT232 is substantially more than a commercial LUFA license.  Why don't we just do the math???

ATXMEGA16A4U @ digikey = $1.74 @ 2k units
FT232RL @ digikey = $3.05 @ 2k units

That leaves $1.31 per device.  I'm assuming we're going to make 2k units.  The commercial license for LUFA is $1500.  That means that once we sell 1145 units we've broken even.  By the time we've sold all 2000 devices, we've saved $1120.  It gets more complicated when we want to have our own VID/PID.  Last I checked, getting your own VID costs $2000 from usb.org.  If you have more than one project subject to such analysis, you're going to come out ahead.  Another option is to request one from the vendor.  Atmel will allow you to use their VID/PID provided that you don't try to use it for USB compliance, among other things:

Quote
Customer may keep the Atmel Vendor Identifier (Atmel VID) and Product Identifier (PID) in their product that integrates an Atmel USB Flash Microcontroller (“Integrated Product”) from one Atmel original example subject to the following acknowledgments and/or conditions:

The point I'm getting at here is that FTDI's business is not sustainable even without this particular flap.  They have failed to truly innovate.  The've surely amortized the development and NREs from the FT232, and haven't adjusted the price down to reflect that.  It's economical to use a general-purpose micro controller to implement every feature of their product for less money.  What's the value proposition?  Their driver is included in windows?  Well, that's fantastic for them.  Mac and linux computers can use USB CDC devices without any driver at all.  For some idiotic reason, MS requires a INF for CDC devices.  Not only that, the FTDI driver available on the mac is a piece of shit.  If kernel panics my computer constantly.  I'm looking forward to a time where FTDI doesn't exist so everyone can move on to CDC.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: waldo on October 23, 2014, 06:20:17 pm
There's certainly a big opportunity here for an fully open source USB-to-UART chip based on a microcontroller, especially now.  The embedded portion of such a project doesn't bother me nearly as much as the Windows driver.  USB device drivers routinely break about every other version of Windows and it is a significant burden to support the driver side of things.  This is one of the reasons I use FTDI and SiLabs chips - I let the chip vendor take care of the driver.  But if there was a critical mass of people wanting to design in such a device, this could happen as open source, even considering the costs associated with driver signing and USB vendor ID's.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 06:26:20 pm
Most manufacturers don't pay book pricing on such ICs. FTDI has a sales force and they might offer better pricing if one has the volume and asks professionally.  The IC vendor will then issue you a letter allowing you to buy at the better price through distribution.

These negotiations happen all the time in the industry.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hpux735 on October 23, 2014, 06:28:51 pm
Most manufacturers don't pay book pricing on such ICs. FTDI has a sales force and they might offer better pricing if one has the volume and asks professionally.  The IC vendor will then issue you a letter allowing you to buy at the better price through distribution.

These negotiations happen all the time in the industry.

Are you implying that Microchip and Atmel won't do the same thing?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 23, 2014, 06:29:48 pm
Most manufacturers don't pay book pricing on such ICs. FTDI has a sales force and they might offer better pricing if one has the volume and asks professionally.  The IC vendor will then issue you a letter allowing you to buy at the better price through distribution.

These negotiations happen all the time in the industry.

any supplier will offer better prices on volume, even distributors will haggle if your spending thousands, even I've done deals with farnell for 1K
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 06:35:20 pm
The point I'm getting at here is that FTDI's business is not sustainable even without this particular flap.  They have failed to truly innovate.  The've surely amortized the development and NREs from the FT232, and haven't adjusted the price down to reflect that.  It's economical to use a general-purpose micro controller to implement every feature of their product for less money.  What's the value proposition?  Their driver is included in windows?  Well, that's fantastic for them.  Mac and linux computers can use USB CDC devices without any driver at all.  For some idiotic reason, MS requires a INF for CDC devices.  Not only that, the FTDI driver available on the mac is a piece of shit.  If kernel panics my computer constantly.  I'm looking forward to a time where FTDI doesn't exist so everyone can move on to CDC.

Absolutely true. FTDI does have some good chips but they will soon die if they don't innovate. What they did with their driver looks like a desperate act to try to keep their profit on their parts. Just like the music industry still expects to sell MP3 albums for $19.99 like they did in the past when they were selling CDs. They need to adapt - or they will die.

Most manufacturers don't pay book pricing on such ICs. FTDI has a sales force and they might offer better pricing if one has the volume and asks professionally.  The IC vendor will then issue you a letter allowing you to buy at the better price through distribution.

These negotiations happen all the time in the industry.

Are you implying that Microchip and Atmel won't do the same thing?

You'd be really, really surprised at how different the marketing policies are between manufacturers.
Some are willing to give you a good price upfront, some others require you to show a quotation from someone else before they align their prices, and some others are just too expensive no matter what you show them and loose the business.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ThaHandy on October 23, 2014, 06:42:25 pm
I just reinstalled windows 7 with FTDI driver not yet installed and still have some updates i need to install.
Anyone know which windows update is causing this?

Also I've ready by using FTDI/utilities/FT_PROG 2.8.2.0 u can change back the PID, but if it's a permanent solution, I can't tell.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 06:53:56 pm
Most manufacturers don't pay book pricing on such ICs. FTDI has a sales force and they might offer better pricing if one has the volume and asks professionally.  The IC vendor will then issue you a letter allowing you to buy at the better price through distribution.

These negotiations happen all the time in the industry.

Are you implying that Microchip and Atmel won't do the same thing?

Not at all.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: M@rcel on October 23, 2014, 06:57:39 pm
if you download the zipped non-latest driver from the ftdi website and unpack it somewhere on your pc, you can simply use "update driver" in device manager for a bricked device and point it to the .inf file of the downloaded driver. Do not let windows choose the correct driver, choose it yourself. Ignore the warnings windows issues and you're done. The device is now usable again (with pid 0000). You can even change the pid using ft_prog.

tested on win8.1
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 07:02:52 pm
http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2k0i7x/watch_that_windows_update_ftdi_drivers_are/clgviyl (http://www.reddit.com/r/arduino/comments/2k0i7x/watch_that_windows_update_ftdi_drivers_are/clgviyl)

I have managed to build the ft232r_prog program on linux but have not tried it yet.   I will use my 'broken' windows to verify my bad chip (or maybe 'ruin' a new one that I have as a spare) and then see if the linux app fixes it.  they say it works and I bet it does, but I'll try it myself just to see and report back.

interesting that ftdi has rolled back their bad image (2.12) and the download link on THEIR site now redirects to 2.10.  IANAL, but this seems like backpeddling to me, essentially admitting that they screwed the pooch and they don't want any more damage from this bad judgement call.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 23, 2014, 07:11:01 pm
interesting that ftdi has rolled back their bad image (2.12) and the download link on THEIR site now redirects to 2.10.

No it doesn't.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daveshah on October 23, 2014, 07:17:00 pm
interesting that ftdi has rolled back their bad image (2.12) and the download link on THEIR site now redirects to 2.10.

No it doesn't.
The link has changed to the 2.12 executable now, but there was a point earlier today when it redirected to a zipped version of 2.10.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 23, 2014, 07:18:40 pm
A MAC address is in its nature not unique nor does it needs to be. As long as you have one MAC address on a segment it works correctly. The IPV6 address needs to be unique if some one clones them you get a lot of problems.
How do you think a constrained device gets an IPv6 address in the IoT universe?
Answer: it is a direct substitute of its MAC address. So NO it is not allowed to have two devices with the same MAC address in this setting
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Chipguy on October 23, 2014, 07:19:15 pm
This morning I didn't have the time to have a look at all the posts about that topic.
Turns out that the findings, namely pooving that the destruction of counterfeit chips was deliberate was already done!

Hat's up to you guys. Beside one troll that has already been banned this is a real on topic discussion.

We had a meeting at work today about that issue:
Our board assembler gets all the material from trustworty distributors.
However there is still a residual risk of having counterfeit mixed with genuine one.  :rant:

So we decided to slowly transition AWAY from FTDI because we deem them to be UNTRUSTWORTY from now on.  :-- :-- :--
The problem: They don't have a go at the fake manufacturers but at the customers who have already been betraid by the delivery of the counterfeit chips in the first place.
One product will be most likey be changed to Silicon Labs CP2110 or CP2104.

This means around 3000 pcs FT232R +  some others sold less for them every year.
There are now around 17K of these in our products out in the field somewhere.
I don't want to even think about the support line being unindated with calls when the Windows update installs new drivers.
As of now there are 0 reports. I really hope it stays like that.  :scared:
I work in a small company and we just can't take the risk of getting units back from far away because they are blown by a driver.  :rant:





Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: DarkStar on October 23, 2014, 07:21:10 pm
To expand on this: What if FTDI sold some chips to a manufacturer and a year or two later held them hostage to pay over more licensing $$ or they would brick their devices!

By the way, I don't think anyone has brought this up yet.

How do we know that in the future this, or similar actions taken in FTDI's driver won't accidentally brick legitimate FTDI devices? I can easily envision a particular - maybe old - hardware version of one of their devices being left out of a test matrix and then suddenly FTDI (and their customers and customers' customers) are hoist by their own petard.

No, the risk is too great now to use FTDI chips - legitimate or otherwise - anymore.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 23, 2014, 07:33:52 pm
interesting that ftdi has rolled back their bad image (2.12) and the download link on THEIR site now redirects to 2.10.

No it doesn't.
The link has changed to the 2.12 executable now, but there was a point earlier today when it redirected to a zipped version of 2.10.

flip-floppers! ;)

I did pull down the 2.10 via their 2.12 link, so it really did redirect for a while.  wonder why they changed it.

maybe one lawyer said to, but another said not to.  admitting they were wrong via the redirect?  can't have that!  so, tell that damned webmaster to redir the redir.  sigh...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: langwadt on October 23, 2014, 07:34:52 pm
yeh, it used to be cp21xx that had a bad reputation because there were so many fakes and they constantly updated the drivers to break them so it seemed the they never worked 


Are you sure you don't mean the Prolific chip (PL2303)? 

The CP21xx (Silabs), I don't recall there ever being any problems with breaking drivers or known fakes. 

But the Prolific's did have those issues, however I don't think they intentionally broke drivers, but just that the new drivers didn't work with the fake chips, and they didn't actually go out of their way to reprogram the chips as FTDI has done.

You are right, it was the prolific I was thinking about

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 07:35:04 pm
We had a meeting at work today about that issue:
Our board assembler gets all the material from trustworty distributors.
However there is still a residual risk of having counterfeit mixed with genuine one.  :rant:

Thank you for your report.
I'm exactly on the same boat.
FTDI cannot hold the end user responsible for the whole supply chain.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 23, 2014, 07:35:48 pm
WTF? I just noticed that the FTDI download for drivers is a setup executable, and you need to email them if you want to use custom VID/PID - what's that all about?
 
Is this a recent thing or has it been like that for a while?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daveshah on October 23, 2014, 07:36:06 pm
The redir still works if you go to the link for the zip, (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)), it's just that they've changed the URL on the site to the EXE, perhaps so that they can show a warning message or EULA.

EDIT: Yes, after it extracts a EULA is shown with the warning about genuine products. The exe is signed yesterday afternoon, so I wonder they were advised to do this by their lawyers?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: BartManInNZ on October 23, 2014, 07:36:50 pm
I just reinstalled windows 7 with FTDI driver not yet installed and still have some updates i need to install.
Anyone know which windows update is causing this?

Also I've ready by using FTDI/utilities/FT_PROG 2.8.2.0 u can change back the PID, but if it's a permanent solution, I can't tell.
As I mentioned here:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-how-to-remedy-the-dangerous-driver/msg535202/#msg535202 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-how-to-remedy-the-dangerous-driver/msg535202/#msg535202)
It's not a traditional "Windows Update" - it comes via the Windows Update drivers service which you will need to disable if you don't want updated drivers installed automatically.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 23, 2014, 07:37:27 pm
WTF? I just noticed that the FTDI download for drivers is a setup executable, and you need to email them if you want to use custom VID/PID - what's that all about?
 
Is this a recent thing or has it been like that for a while?

I *think* that the VID/PID pair is part of the INF file which is signed, so they have to re-sign the driver if they change the VID/PID. So it's normal you have to get in touch with them to get a custom driver package signed if you want to change the VID/PID.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 23, 2014, 07:38:03 pm
The redir still works if you go to the link for the zip, (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)), it's just that they've changed the URL on the site to the EXE, perhaps so that they can show a warning message or EULA.

They no longer provide a link to the zip.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 23, 2014, 07:38:36 pm
I was under the impression that FTDI already can change the VID/PID in the chip?
If so, they can always, with a driver update brick any device. Technically speaking the device is not bricked it just has a new VID/PID. After reprogramming it with the correct VID/PID the chip will function again with older drivers or can be used on Linux.

I even think there are more vendors which can change the VID/PID of their product.
This is not new and often will be used as a feature. I know one vendor which has a chip which can be configured over the USB bus. That is it starts out as generic device and through an upload of the firmware and disconnect/reconnect it is recognized as the new device.

All these devices can always be compromissed from within in the driver.

Still understand FTDI, but this method not very nice, actually plain stupid. Still curious if it on purpose or if it a side effect of the detection method  |O I guess I will never know  :--
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 23, 2014, 07:39:55 pm
One product will be most likey be changed to Silicon Labs CP2110 or CP2104.
Don,t know the large quantity pricing, but looking at farnell and mouser you can even safe more then half the cost for that ic, so why not change?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Chipguy on October 23, 2014, 07:44:36 pm
WTF? I just noticed that the FTDI download for drivers is a setup executable, and you need to email them if you want to use custom VID/PID - what's that all about?
 
Is this a recent thing or has it been like that for a while?

I got 2.10.00 drivers which still came as INF files.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rsjsouza on October 23, 2014, 08:00:33 pm
The redir still works if you go to the link for the zip, (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)), it's just that they've changed the URL on the site to the EXE, perhaps so that they can show a warning message or EULA.

They no longer provide a link to the zip.
I just saved the file pointed to by the link above.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 23, 2014, 08:03:07 pm
The redir still works if you go to the link for the zip, (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)), it's just that they've changed the URL on the site to the EXE, perhaps so that they can show a warning message or EULA.

They no longer provide a link to the zip.
I just saved the file pointed to by the link above.

Congrats.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 08:18:45 pm
One product will be most likey be changed to Silicon Labs CP2110 or CP2104.

From the CP2110 manual:
Quote
The CP2110 is a USB Human Interface Device (HID), and as most operating systems include native HID drivers,
custom drivers do not need to be installed. The CP2110 does not fit one of the standard HID device types, such as
a keyboard or mouse, and so any CP2110 PC application needs to use the CP2110’s HID specification to
communicate with the device. The low-level HID specification for the CP2110 is provided in “AN434: CP2110/4
Interface Specification.” This document describes all of the basic functions for opening, reading from, writing to,
and closing the device as well as the ROM programming functions.
A Windows DLL that encapsulates the CP2110 HID interface and also adds higher level features such as read/
write time-outs is provided by Silicon Labs. This DLL is the recommended interface for the CP2110. The Windows
DLL is documented in CP2110 Windows DLL Specification.
Both of these documents and the DLL are available in the CP2110EK CD as well as online at
http://www.silabs.com/. (http://www.silabs.com/.)

So, you are going to write additional software to bridge between the low-level HID driver and serial port functionality?  Or is the change simpler than that?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 08:22:25 pm

So, you are going to write additional software to bridge between the low-level HID driver and serial port functionality?  Or is the change simpler than that?

With the CP2102 & CP2101, they appear to be direct competitors to the FTDI part. I think the big hangup for most people has been the QFN package vs. SSOP.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rob77 on October 23, 2014, 08:26:18 pm
interresting....

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)

redirects to:

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.10.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.10.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)

so even if you try to download the 2.12 you'll get the older 2.10... interesting , apparently they changed the redirect again  ;)

it looks like some kind of schizophrenic fight  :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 23, 2014, 08:29:48 pm
The redir still works if you go to the link for the zip, (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.12.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)), it's just that they've changed the URL on the site to the EXE, perhaps so that they can show a warning message or EULA.
They no longer provide a link to the zip.
Looks like they indeed quickly changed the linking page.

Current version:
http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm)

Snapshot a few days ago:
https://web.archive.org/web/20141012061236/http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm (https://web.archive.org/web/20141012061236/http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm)

Google cache also still shows the zip link:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CK-LKzirhLAJ:www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:CK-LKzirhLAJ:www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm)

No idea why they think this helps, but oh well. :-//

And while we're at it, direct link to archived version of that zip:
https://web.archive.org/web/20140710231626/http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.10.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip (https://web.archive.org/web/20140710231626/http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/CDM/CDM%20v2.10.00%20WHQL%20Certified.zip)

Just checked it, and that is indeed the exact same zip file.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 08:30:08 pm

So, you are going to write additional software to bridge between the low-level HID driver and serial port functionality?  Or is the change simpler than that?

With the CP2102 & CP2101, they appear to be direct competitors to the FTDI part. I think the big hangup for most people has been the QFN package vs. SSOP.

OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.  And this is actually an honest, "I don't know" question, I'm not trying to shill for FTDI. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 23, 2014, 08:46:09 pm

So, you are going to write additional software to bridge between the low-level HID driver and serial port functionality?  Or is the change simpler than that?

With the CP2102 & CP2101, they appear to be direct competitors to the FTDI part. I think the big hangup for most people has been the QFN package vs. SSOP.

OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.  And this is actually an honest, "I don't know" question, I'm not trying to shill for FTDI.

Honestly, half the time I want to do more on the windows side.  It's stupid to say "Find the com port, it may change depending on what usb port you plug into and if you've restarted since last time" rather then being able to write my software to look for my specific usb device.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 23, 2014, 09:00:14 pm
OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.  And this is actually an honest, "I don't know" question, I'm not trying to shill for FTDI.

I am taking this as a sort of "Don't trust, and instead verify" approach. I ordered the CP2102EK kit in order to see how different they are. My core goal is for the user to plug the thing in, and not muck with anything. Also, don't fret, I didn't take anything you said as having malicious intent. SILabs' thing is that they have a number of odd permutations, so not all of them are actually competitive to the FT232R parts.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: LabSpokane on October 23, 2014, 09:12:25 pm
OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.  And this is actually an honest, "I don't know" question, I'm not trying to shill for FTDI.

I am taking this as a sort of "Don't trust, and instead verify" approach. I ordered the CP2102EK kit in order to see how different they are. My core goal is for the user to plug the thing in, and not muck with anything. Also, don't fret, I didn't take anything you said as having malicious intent. SILabs' thing is that they have a number of odd permutations, so not all of them are actually competitive to the FT232R parts.

I hope that once you and others have the chance to try it out, that you will post your impressions of the platform and process. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sewnbacktogetherwrong on October 23, 2014, 09:13:54 pm
After a bit of hunting around, I found a way to unbrick my bricked device (set the PID back to 6001) using the ft232r utility in Linux.

I wrote up the steps here: http://www.minipwner.com/index.php/unbrickftdi000 (http://www.minipwner.com/index.php/unbrickftdi000)

*Disclaimer - I am not promoting the use of these fake FTDI chips.  They've given me nothing but headaches.  I order Arduino Nano's in batches for workshops I run, and for the last year I've had to pre-order one, check that its a legit chip to the best of my ability, and then order the rest of the batch from the same supplier.  (And yes I do ask the supplier ahead of time but they don't always get it right either).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ttt on October 23, 2014, 09:15:16 pm
Franky i don't understand why the counterfeiters don't just release their own driver and separately Id the chip,.........

Frankly speaking, and call me a bigot if you need, but many Chinese manufacturers operate on cloning for cost reduction and not innovation.

Bingo. Writing drivers which work across a whole set of Windows version is difficult to say the least and requires long term commitment. FTDI has a track record of keeping their drivers running as the Windows platform evolves. There is a lot of value to that. The minimum you need is to to pay a driver engineer on a continuous basis to keep the driver working. I've dealt with driver level engineering for years: At minimum you have to make changes a few times a year to keep drivers working with new OS versions, new architectures, new security models etc.

Take a look at the FTDI driver page and realize the amount of platforms they support: http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTDrivers.htm) It's pretty amazing and every single one has it's own issues/bugs which need to be worked around. They still support Windows 98!

I expect the next big change in drivers to be around USB security in general. As the 'BadUSB' exploit becomes used in the wild Microsoft will have to start to lock down USB to mitigate these kind of attacks. That will likely affect all drivers.

In the end a Chinese fly by company could never afford to write their own drivers. I also doubt that an open source project would be able to handle that given the amount of QA you need to do on drivers. It's very costly.

What I expect to see, honestly, is a slight change to the clones which inhibit the write, and then FTDI is back to square one, with a large consumer base that is FTDI phobic. Any man can create a lock which he himself cannot pick.

Correct. It sounds like the cloners will just adjust to the current situation and continue to make more fake chips. It could even drive more sales for them by selling it under a 'works with new FTDI driver' tag. In meantime you have a large base of angry customers.

I think the right strategy for FTDI would have been to enter the arms race like everyone else and start to include fingerprint/authentication silicon into their new chips like most companies now start to do. It sucks that we have to this route, but the lack of IP/copyright enforcement in various countries really forces the hand here. This lack of enforcement also affects open source software BTW. Tons of Chinese products use GPL software without ever releasing source code. My recent stint with security cameras show they are pretty much all using GPLd video/H.264/linux software. And no way for me to fix the broken software in those devices since they don't release source code...



Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: German_EE on October 23, 2014, 09:16:53 pm
"Honestly, half the time I want to do more on the windows side.  It's stupid to say "Find the com port, it may change depending on what usb port you plug into and if you've restarted since last time" rather then being able to write my software to look for my specific usb device."

Agreed, the constantly changing COM port numbers are annoying. My suggested fix is that the USB driver asks the device what COM port it would like to use, and this number is also written on the outside of the case of the peripheral in question.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: sleemanj on October 23, 2014, 09:28:56 pm
OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.  And this is actually an honest, "I don't know" question, I'm not trying to shill for FTDI.

The CP2102 works just fine.  I use USB-Serial modules that all use the CP2102 and have for years, I've sold piles of the things too, no complaints.

Drivers for Linux, Windows and Mac (and WinCE and Android) if your OS doesn't automatically find them...
  http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/pages/usbtouartbridgevcpdrivers.aspx (http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/pages/usbtouartbridgevcpdrivers.aspx)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ve7xen on October 23, 2014, 09:35:53 pm
A MAC address is in its nature not unique nor does it needs to be. As long as you have one MAC address on a segment it works correctly. The IPV6 address needs to be unique if some one clones them you get a lot of problems.
How do you think a constrained device gets an IPv6 address in the IoT universe?
Answer: it is a direct substitute of its MAC address. So NO it is not allowed to have two devices with the same MAC address in this setting
Uhm not quite. Assuming we're talking about SLAAC here because that's the only time the MAC address is related at all to the IPv6 address.

A MAC address is 48-bits. An IPv6 network address is 128-bits. They're not directly related. In a normal situation, the local router will advertise itself, along with a 64-bit (or shorter) network address for the segment. Any host that attaches is then free to select an address (or addresses) it would like to use from within that network; it will have at least 64-bits of address space to work with. In early implementation this was straight-up the MAC address, encoded in a trivial manner, but most OSs now use "privacy addresses" that are basically random and change periodically. Once an address is chosen, default address detection (DAD) is performed to verify that the address is not already in use on the local segment. Then it is bound to the interface.

So you end up with <64 bits of network address, set by the network device>:<64 bits of host address, randomly assigned>. Even when the host part is generated from the interface identifier (MAC), the whole address is still globally unique due to the network address portion.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hobbes on October 23, 2014, 09:40:45 pm
How do you think a constrained device gets an IPv6 address in the IoT universe?
Answer: it is a direct substitute of its MAC address. So NO it is not allowed to have two devices with the same MAC address in this setting

The IPv6 EUI-64 address is a function of the MAC address, and the gateway prefix. So the MAC address has to be unique only within the same /64 which mostly falls in the same scope as an IPv4 subnet, or the underlaying layer-2 LAN.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 23, 2014, 09:40:56 pm
OK, it just appears to me that with FTDI you get the serial port handling within Windows with the driver, and with CP21XX one might have some more to do.
No, I have used the CP2101 and CP2102 in the past and they work out of the box just like the FT232R does. The only difference is that the CP2101 doesn't come in TSSOP.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 23, 2014, 11:18:08 pm
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hpux735 on October 23, 2014, 11:29:36 pm
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!

This is the biggest risk of companies pulling shenanigans like this.  The last thing that you want is your customers to ask the question "What other options are there?"  Once that question is asked, you're in trouble.  If you can keep them "fat, dumb, and happy" then you're likely to keep them.

I realize that their worried about their future, and they have a right to try to protect their IP, but this is a very dangerous move.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 23, 2014, 11:32:12 pm
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!

This is the biggest risk of companies pulling shenanigans like this.  The last thing that you want is your customers to ask the question "What other options are there?"  Once that question is asked, you're in trouble.  If you can keep them "fat, dumb, and happy" then you're likely to keep them.

I realize that their worried about their future, and they have a right to try to protect their IP, but this is a very dangerous move.

Exactly.  I would love for my arduino IDE to have a list of connected arduinos pop up as programming targets, rather then a list of com ports.  Or even, *gasp*, it just working when I hit upload cause there's only one arduino!
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: waldo on October 23, 2014, 11:50:14 pm
Another advantage to the CP2110 is that it is compatible with Android if the device supports USB Host.  I used one on an Android-based project last year and it worked well.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroHex on October 24, 2014, 12:21:17 am
This just in, Microsoft pulls two FTDI drives from Windows Update.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 24, 2014, 12:23:07 am

No idea why they think this helps, but oh well. :-//

..so they can add a more explicit warning of imminent device destruction...?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 24, 2014, 12:31:46 am

No idea why they think this helps, but oh well. :-//

..so they can add a more explicit warning of imminent device destruction...?
Ah, the remaining .exe file shows you a popup with such a warning? I missed that.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 24, 2014, 12:32:13 am
By the way, I don't think anyone has brought this up yet.

How do we know that in the future this, or similar actions taken in FTDI's driver won't accidentally brick legitimate FTDI devices? I can easily envision a particular - maybe old - hardware version of one of their devices being left out of a test matrix and then suddenly FTDI (and their customers and customers' customers) are hoist by their own petard.

No, the risk is too great now to use FTDI chips - legitimate or otherwise - anymore.

The way the bricking works, that seems unlikely - there's no per-device detection, it's already 'trying' to brick all devices and authentic ones are just not vulnerable to the method used.
Actually, they do detect what type of device is plugged in, and only issue the bricking commands to FT232RLs. In fact, the same commands will brick other genuine FTDI devices with an external EEPROM too, if the code didn't check for them. The FT232RL is the odd man out; the clones actually behave the same as FTDI's other chips, which is what their USB command protocol was clearly intended to do. FT232RLs have a buffering hack due to their EEPROM layout, and that specifically is what the clones didn't catch on to, and what the bricking code exploits.

(https://marcan.st/transf/checkbrick.png)
Sidenote: code bug here. They forgot to return a value for non-FT232RL devices, when the if branch isn't taken. This caused the return register to contain an uninitialized value - in this case, the FTDIDevice *dev parameter - which confused the decompiler into thinking the return value's type is FTDIDevice* instead of int (I could've fixed the type but didn't bother). They don't use the return value in the caller, so this is harmless, but still, bad FTDI, ignoring compiler warnings. Doesn't instill much confidence that they don't even check for compiler warnings on their critical bricking code that might brick legitimate devices if it malfunctions.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 24, 2014, 12:43:29 am

No idea why they think this helps, but oh well. :-//

..so they can add a more explicit warning of imminent device destruction...?
Ah, the remaining .exe file shows you a popup with such a warning? I missed that.
I don't know - just a guess.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: CrosseyeJack on October 24, 2014, 12:52:57 am
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: ovnr on October 24, 2014, 12:54:14 am
This just in, Microsoft pulls two FTDI drives from Windows Update.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

Confirmed - I had a FTDI update sitting in my Windows Update queue a week ago (I don't install WU device driver updates because these things happen - not bricking, but unintentionally fucking things up - I'd rather go to the mfg to read the release notes first). It's gone now, after doing an update check.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Zeta on October 24, 2014, 01:00:39 am
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!

This is the biggest risk of companies pulling shenanigans like this.  The last thing that you want is your customers to ask the question "What other options are there?"  Once that question is asked, you're in trouble.  If you can keep them "fat, dumb, and happy" then you're likely to keep them.

the guys crying out loud  are probably the guys selling fake ftdi chips or devices containing fake ftdi chips

I realize that their worried about their future, and they have a right to try to protect their IP, but this is a very dangerous move.
only if they affect actual customers.
for a chip manufacturer, hobbyists like you or me are not their real customers, hobbyist market is a really small market. Their customers are the guys who design/build devices. The driver update affect manufacturer who don't buy their chips anyway so not their real customer and would probably make more manufacturers buy the real thing next time.
Bricking fake devices actually protect their real customers and their customer's customers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mrflibble on October 24, 2014, 01:08:41 am
I don't know - just a guess.
I got the impression that they removed the link to the .zip file after someone posted about a workaround by using the .INF file (found in the zip) and then specifying the desired VID/PID. As opposed to the automated installation you'd get by default using the .exe. But not sure. :-//
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 01:18:33 am
The driver update affect manufacturer who don't buy their chips anyway so not their real customer and would probably make more manufacturers buy the real thing next time.
Bricking fake devices actually protect their real customers and their customer's customers.
I guess you didn't read the comments from the pros on this forum. Some explain having had (crisis) meetings about the impact of FTDI sabotage driver. Thinking it is possible to buy 100% real devices in mass production is being naive. There is no guarantee a counterfeit product doesn't end up in a device. That means using FTDI chips poses the risk a device stops working which in turn results in an angry customer or even damage claims. Such a risk is unacceptable for any business so the clever move is to stop using FTDI at all.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 01:20:19 am
Reading between the lines, it would appear that Microsoft has bitch-slapped FTDI

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

look near the bottom
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: CrosseyeJack on October 24, 2014, 01:21:37 am
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!

This is the biggest risk of companies pulling shenanigans like this.  The last thing that you want is your customers to ask the question "What other options are there?"  Once that question is asked, you're in trouble.  If you can keep them "fat, dumb, and happy" then you're likely to keep them.

the guys crying out loud  are probably the guys selling fake ftdi chips or devices containing fake ftdi chips

I realize that their worried about their future, and they have a right to try to protect their IP, but this is a very dangerous move.
only if they affect actual customers.
for a chip manufacturer, hobbyists like you or me are not their real customers, hobbyist market is a really small market. Their customers are the guys who design/build devices. The driver update affect manufacturer who don't buy their chips anyway so not their real customer and would probably make more manufacturers buy the real thing next time.
Bricking fake devices actually protect their real customers and their customer's customers.

But you have firms like Microchip who will happily give out free samples to hobbyists which I am sure is because they not only see us as future customers but in your own words as their future customer customers.

I only only see myself as a hobbyist but I sell my stuff (Does selling your skills make you a professional or not? I have made my limited skills into a profession for me. I dunno...). What this whole issue has told me is if I want to add a USB-Serial Device I am going to stay away from "Future Tremendous Disaster Incoming" and go with someone else.

Yeah sure they are not making mega bucks off me selling me chips (So they don't really care about me as a customer, but they should) and I don't like counterfeit chips as much as the next guy. So why should I run the risk that I fuck up and get in some fakes when I think I am going though legit sources and then cause my customers headaches down the road when there are plenty of other options to fill the USB-Serial need.

FTDI have shown they don't care about me nor my customers (As I am not big enough for them) so I'm not going to give them two thoughts about them. I'm sure they will survive without me as a customer but I know I will survice without them being a supplier of mine.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 24, 2014, 01:39:01 am
I just did a little poking, and the CP2110 actually looks freaking awesome.  Looks like it has support for making your own "devices" that don't just show up as com ports, but they do use standard usb HID drivers on windows.  All you need is a simple dll bundled with your app and you've got a serial style connection to the device.  No crazy drivers, no hunting for the right ports.  Looks awesome to me!

This is the biggest risk of companies pulling shenanigans like this.  The last thing that you want is your customers to ask the question "What other options are there?"  Once that question is asked, you're in trouble.  If you can keep them "fat, dumb, and happy" then you're likely to keep them.

the guys crying out loud  are probably the guys selling fake ftdi chips or devices containing fake ftdi chips

I realize that their worried about their future, and they have a right to try to protect their IP, but this is a very dangerous move.
only if they affect actual customers.
for a chip manufacturer, hobbyists like you or me are not their real customers, hobbyist market is a really small market. Their customers are the guys who design/build devices. The driver update affect manufacturer who don't buy their chips anyway so not their real customer and would probably make more manufacturers buy the real thing next time.
Bricking fake devices actually protect their real customers and their customer's customers.

But you have firms like Microchip who will happily give out free samples to hobbyists which I am sure is because they not only see us as future customers but in your own words as their future customer customers.

I only only see myself as a hobbyist but I sell my stuff (Does selling your skills make you a professional or not? I have made my limited skills into a profession for me. I dunno...). What this whole issue has told me is if I want to add a USB-Serial Device I am going to stay away from "Future Tremendous Disaster Incoming" and go with someone else.

Yeah sure they are not making mega bucks off me selling me chips (So they don't really care about me as a customer, but they should) and I don't like counterfeit chips as much as the next guy. So why should I run the risk that I fuck up and get in some fakes when I think I am going though legit sources and then cause my customers headaches down the road when there are plenty of other options to fill the USB-Serial need.

FTDI have shown they don't care about me nor my customers (As I am not big enough for them) so I'm not going to give them two thoughts about them. I'm sure they will survive without me as a customer but I know I will survice without them being a supplier of mine.

Heh, just look at 3d printers.  I'm sure somebody scoffed at RepRap, but I know people that have spend hundreds on just the electronics.  Speaking of, I wonder how many 3d printers got killed by this.  A lot of reprap stuff uses offbrand arduino clones.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: HackedFridgeMagnet on October 24, 2014, 01:41:05 am
from  http://arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Quote
    Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

Love to be a fly on the wall in FTDI HQ when they are discussing this.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 01:44:05 am
from  http://arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Quote
    Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

Love to be a fly on the wall in FTDI HQ when they are discussing this.

I'm pretty sure that that conversation (between Microsoft and FTDI) was a straight-up bitch-slap.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 24, 2014, 01:45:20 am
from  http://arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Quote
    Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

Love to be a fly on the wall in FTDI HQ when they are discussing this.

Oh yes, and then when FTDI is discussing the profit of the next quarter.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: CrosseyeJack on October 24, 2014, 02:02:32 am
from  http://arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Quote
    Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

Love to be a fly on the wall in FTDI HQ when they are discussing this.

Oh yes, and then when FTDI is discussion the profit of the next quarter.

Well I don't really think FTDI's update is going to effect MS's profits for next quarter (Tounge in cheek: MS are going a fine job of that themselves... Though Win 10 TP isn't the horse crap Win 8 was....) And(I misread the post... Sorry) its not really going to effect FTDI's next quarter because A) its too short of a time period for people to jump ship, Their "Big" customers have already locked in their designs to change supplier b) I can see them reversing ship pretty quickly now it has come to attention (even though there have been reports of this for over a month, but those reports fall into the the "small enough not to give a crap about" bracket).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 24, 2014, 02:09:27 am
from  http://arstechnica.com (http://arstechnica.com)
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Quote
    Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

Love to be a fly on the wall in FTDI HQ when they are discussing this.

Oh yes, and then when FTDI is discussion the profit of the next quarter.

Well I don't really think FTDI's update is going to effect MS's profits for next quarter (Tounge in cheek: MS are going a fine job of that themselves... Though Win 10 TP isn't the horse crap Win 8 was....) And(I misread the post... Sorry) its not really going to effect FTDI's next quarter because A) its too short of a time period for people to jump ship, Their "Big" customers have already locked in their designs to change supplier b) I can see them reversing ship pretty quickly now it has come to attention (even though there have been reports of this for over a month, but those reports fall into the the "small enough not to give a crap about" bracket).

Okay, ack, you're right. The big players will need some more time. And the impact of better china copies will need more time too. So maybee for the short time they have more profit. Maybee the responsible manager gets his bonus payment before he changes to another company.


EDIT:looks like the typical turbocapitalistic way...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: CrosseyeJack on October 24, 2014, 02:14:36 am
What makes me laugh about all this is that once some people decapped a fake chip (because it was just returning 0's) and reported their finding to FTDI they asked for feedback, They suggested instead of sending 0's back the driver sent back something like "FAKECHIP" So the driver didn't work and what ever software was running on it could inform the user of the issue stead of just not working.

When Mike brought FTDI up over the rewriting of the PID on twitter they asked him for "suggestions on how to do it" https://twitter.com/FTDIChip/status/524931435077963776 (https://twitter.com/FTDIChip/status/524931435077963776) When they had a) already given out a driver that just ignored the fake chips b) were given a suggestion on how to make it so 3rd party software would know its a fake chip.

I guess they saw driver roll back too much as a threat and just decided to nip the issue in the butt (and create themselves a bigger issue in the long run)...

I'm just looking forward to the FTDI Press release over this... I just need some warning so I can pop some fresh corn :-)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 24, 2014, 02:33:16 am
Uh, no. FTDI's driver makes the victim device not work with *any* driver. FTDI did not write the driver that Linux uses. Plugging a clone into a Windows box running FTDI's driver will make it stop working on a Linux box

not true, Linux is already patched and will work with your fake


I have an Arduino compatible board purchased from Farnell which was built by a fairly reputable manufacturer.  It seems that it's detected as being a counterfeit by the FTDI driver.

If I'm left with a dead device which I bought in good faith from a reputable supplier and manufacturer

You arent left, you need to contact Farnell for replacement/refund. Farnell sold you a fake.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 02:58:36 am
Uh, no. FTDI's driver makes the victim device not work with *any* driver. FTDI did not write the driver that Linux uses. Plugging a clone into a Windows box running FTDI's driver will make it stop working on a Linux box

not true, Linux is already patched and will work with your fake

That's true insofar as the Linux kernel folks have released a patch that was a response to the damage caused by this malware. The way you said it, it implies that the damage caused by the Windows driver has no impact on Linux. This is false on two counts: 1. It impacts virtually all copies of Linux that are in actual use on the planet today, and 2. It requires a version of Linux that will accept a PID of 0, which is definitively non-standard.

And, by the way, if FTDI were so cheesed off about the clone chips hijacking FTDI's vendor ID, then why is it the product ID that they cleaned out?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 24, 2014, 03:08:22 am
Uh, no. FTDI's driver makes the victim device not work with *any* driver. FTDI did not write the driver that Linux uses. Plugging a clone into a Windows box running FTDI's driver will make it stop working on a Linux box

not true, Linux is already patched and will work with your fake

That's true insofar as the Linux kernel folks have released a patch that was a response to the damage caused by this malware. The way you said it, it implies that the damage caused by the Windows driver has no impact on Linux. This is false on two counts: 1. It impacts virtually all copies of Linux that are in actual use on the planet today, and 2. It requires a version of Linux that will accept a PID of 0, which is definitively non-standard.

And, by the way, if FTDI were so cheesed off about the clone chips hijacking FTDI's vendor ID, then why is it the product ID that they cleaned out?

Do you want the real reason, or the PR reason?  Cause the real reason is that they could run the code to change the product id on a clone chip or on a real chip, and it'd only mess up the clone chip.  Vendor ID, I'm fairly certain, is on an odd offset, so it wouldn't get buffered like that on the real chip.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 03:12:54 am
I just tried the linux fix:

./ft232r_prog --old-pid 0x0000 --new-pid 0x6001

ft232r_prog: version 1.24, by Mark Lord.
       eeprom_size = 128
         vendor_id = 0x0403
        product_id = 0x0000
      self_powered = 0
     remote_wakeup = 1
suspend_pull_downs = 0
     max_bus_power = 90 mA
      manufacturer = FTDI
           product = FT232R USB UART
         serialnum = A9E9X73N
   high_current_io = 0
  load_d2xx_driver = 0
      txd_inverted = 0
      rxd_inverted = 0
      rts_inverted = 0
      cts_inverted = 0
      dtr_inverted = 0
      dsr_inverted = 0
      dcd_inverted = 0
       ri_inverted = 0
           cbus[0] = TxLED
           cbus[1] = RxLED
           cbus[2] = TxDEN
           cbus[3] = PwrEn
           cbus[4] = Sleep
Rewriting eeprom with new contents.

moved the bad dongle over to windows (I installed 2.10 driver and disabled the damned windows update driver search.  my god!) and the pid is back to 6001 again.  confirmed on linux syslog, too.

2 or 3 times - even after I installed 2.10 on win7 - the driver must have been mem resident since it kept resetting my pid!  ok, fine, want to play it hard, I'll play it hard - moved it back to linux, reset the pid again and finally rebooted windows to clear its mem.

confirmed that once I REBOOTED win7, the 2.10 driver took the 2.12's place and things are back to 'normal' again.

the linux app definitely does 'repair' bad chips.  I love it!!

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 24, 2014, 03:43:08 am
I've just done a very quick analysis of the new 2.12.00 vs the old 2.12.00 drivers.

It seems that the dpinst.xml file has been updated, although curiously the updates seem to be fairly insignificant.

It consists of a large number of lines like this

<language code="0x0404"><eula type="txt" path="licence.txt"/></language>

It seems that it may have been intended to display the EULA.  More information about this file is located here: http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Knowledgebase/index.html?sampledpinstxmlfile.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Knowledgebase/index.html?sampledpinstxmlfile.htm)

There are other changes to the dpinst executable files.  The changes are quite significant by the looks of the size changes.  But I have not investigated what they might be.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 03:59:18 am
but most OSs now use "privacy addresses" that are basically random and change periodically. Once an address is chosen, default address detection (DAD) is performed to verify that the address is not already in use on the local segment. Then it is bound to the interface.
Did you see my "constrained device" remark in my post? There is no OS we have 32kB RAM and 64kB ROM if lucky an RTOS that has nothing to do with IP. Everyone still thinks PCs but that is definetly not the IoT universe. But going offtopic so I stop.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 24, 2014, 05:05:38 am
Hello to all.

I'm new here, but not new viewing EEVBLOG videos on YouTube.

Shouldn't be the right question:

How will FTDI prove that my devices are, endeed, a counterfit? I could claim that they are originals and stick to it, the same way they are claiming to be counterfiting ICs. I could then claim that even after decapping the IC, they could still be from FTDI. And what if they are all genuine and they're trying to convince us otherwise because they released a bad batch or a buggy firmware / hardware version?

And for those who are still in the shadows. A couple of facts and ideas:

1) You can rewrite broken PID (0x0000) if you use another PC (or use a virtual machine for example) with an older FTDI driver (then use their FTProg tool to restore the original PID) BUT connecting the device again to a PC with the new driver will change again the PID to 0x0000.

2) You could add a new PID in the given drivers by FTDI, so the device could still work in all Windows versions, even with PID 0x0000;

3) I first suspected of some of my FT232RL devices a couple of months ago, because FTDI claims that they can handle up to 3mbps, but some of my chips were choking when configuring baudrates greaters than 2mbps. Sniffing USB packets i saw that at this values of baudrates, data reports were only beeing writtten each aprox. ~ 500 ms (a really piece of crap).

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Someone on October 24, 2014, 05:06:57 am
A few cases of similar protection of trivial magic numbers people seem to be forgetting:
http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/ (http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/)
http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/ (http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/)

Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Vendan on October 24, 2014, 05:34:30 am
A few cases of similar protection of trivial magic numbers people seem to be forgetting:
http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/ (http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/palm-restores-itunes-sync/)
http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/ (http://hackaday.com/2014/08/05/hardware-security-and-a-dmca-takedown-notice/)

Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

First link, Palm signed an agreement, and then violated that agreement.  Second one is irrelevant, cause the manufacturer isn't directly copying the chips, they are making a functional copy, likely through some form of reverse engineering.  Good try, but unusable without a different os and or painful contortions is close enough to bricked for the average user, not to mention messing with my hardware is a very iffy thing for them to be doing.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 24, 2014, 05:38:35 am
Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore. Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

It's the other way around, the software is not licensed to be used the device and thus should not modify it.

Anyway, looks like FTDI learned their lesson but they are weak in managing damage control. Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 05:53:34 am
On a side note: if FTDI would bring out a software package that would identify the connected ic as being genuine or fake without damaging or altering it I think that would be a good thing.
But only if everyone currently buying their chips from any vendor will check their purchases and give negative feedback to that vendor in case of fake chips.
The big question to the hobbieist community is will you do that and pay the extra $ for the genuine part or not?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: poorchava on October 24, 2014, 05:56:36 am
I have switched to CH340 some month or two ago. They are several times cheaper than FTDI and work same as well  (despite sincere hate towards Win8 - it has the drivers preinstalled for that chip).

Entire converter usb stick costs less than the FTDI chip alone. Since FTDI's products are same as risky to use as shady chinese supplier now - why overpay when you get the same risk?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Bored@Work on October 24, 2014, 05:58:57 am
Good on FTDI for having a go and pushing the squatters off their driver, the device isn't bricked it is simply not recognised by their driver anymore.

For a layman, aka, consumers, and the vast majority of users of this IC are consumers, the result is indistinguishable.

Consumers just don't know, don't care, and need not to know or care what kind of USB chip is in their gadget. They buy the gadget, they don't have the knowledge to open it, diagnose if the IC is fake and they don't have the means and the skills to fix a bricked device.

FTDI was knowingly and willingly accepting huge collateral damage. They thought it was OK to kill heaps of innocent bystanders. It is now firing back.

Maybe a Scottish victim of FTDI finds some time to report FTDI to the proper authorities 

Quote
Intentionally looking for a device which isn't licensed to use the software and disabling it from doing so sounds legitimate when you put it that way.

No, it isn't. It is vigilantism without proper authority. Turning off their own driver so it does not works with fakes, OK, fine. Manipulating the property of others, so laymen can no longer use that property, is not legitimate.

Further, even if the damage is not permanent, i.e. people manage to fix it, FTDI caused damage. Just because you can repair something doesn't mean damaging that property is legal.

And if you want to discuss legality further, the UK (and Scotland is still in the UK), has a chapter "Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc." in its Computer Misuse Act.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Bored@Work on October 24, 2014, 06:08:11 am
Anyway, looks like FTDI learned their lesson

No, they haven't. Companies hardly ever learn their lesson. Instead they just believe they have been treated unfair and some great injustice happened to them. They would do it again, as soon as they manage to find a way to not get caught next time. Until they find such a way they consider PR as a "remedy", instead of actually compensating the victims of their behavior.

Thats why these companies need to be constantly reminded of the consequences of their wrongdoing. Even years or decades after the did something.

Quote
Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.

One thing Fluke did right was to use the law, not to break it. That tremendously helps handling the fallout.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FPGAcrazy on October 24, 2014, 06:15:47 am
A MAC address is in its nature not unique nor does it needs to be. As long as you have one MAC address on a segment it works correctly. The IPV6 address needs to be unique if some one clones them you get a lot of problems.
How do you think a constrained device gets an IPv6 address in the IoT universe?
Answer: it is a direct substitute of its MAC address. So NO it is not allowed to have two devices with the same MAC address in this setting
Is this the same as the ethernet MAC address? If so it is not guaranteed to be unique.
Keep in mind that MAC address are not routed through a gateway. The IP address is needed for that.
The protocol keeps the IP address and substitue the MAC address with the address of the correct gateway on each new segment /route it encouters. Thats how IPv4 works since the hardware has not changed I do not think IPv6 will change this behaviour.
Also note that an MAC address is 6 bytes long. Many of these bits are used for the manufactor. And they only needed to be unique within one segment.


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: alex.forencich on October 24, 2014, 06:23:54 am
Quote
Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.

One thing Fluke did right was to use the law, not to break it. That tremendously helps handling the fallout.

The Fluke thing was not a result of something Fluke did directly, it was a result of the US customs officials enforcing Fluke's trademark.  Still doesn't make it right, but the blame did not fall squarely on Fluke as it wasn't a direct action by Fluke which caused the problem.  (personally, I think Fluke should have to pay a fee for this sort of protection - I don't believe that it is the government's responsibility to enforce trademarks, it should be the responsibility of the trademark holder and they should take direct action against Sparkfun if they have a problem with the product)  However, in this case the customs officials had the legal authority to block the shipment, while FTDI does not have the legal authority to damage 3rd party hardware. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: coppice on October 24, 2014, 06:28:42 am
Is this the same as the ethernet MAC address? If so it is not guaranteed to be unique.
Keep in mind that MAC address are not routed through a gateway. The IP address is needed for that.
The protocol keeps the IP address and substitue the MAC address with the address of the correct gateway on each new segment /route it encouters. Thats how IPv4 works since the hardware has not changed I do not think IPv6 will change this behaviour.
Also note that an MAC address is 6 bytes long. Many of these bits are used for the manufactor. And they only needed to be unique within one segment.
A MAC address is supposed to be unique. They are handed out in blocks to manufacturers, who are then supposed to ensure that each port they make has its own unique MAC address out of their allocated blocks. However, people have tinkered so much with MAC addresses that the uniqueness has been severely compromised.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 24, 2014, 06:29:56 am
FTDI actually got (used to have) a lot of fans all over.  If they have approached the whole issue responsibily, and seek help and support, they can get to their pot of gold.  But in a swipe, they inflame these fans into their most bitter enermies.  I am not a high volume buyers.  When I do buy, I bought the so-called industrial grade FTDI cable and sold how good these cables to my clients, and strongly recommend them to get the FTDI for their departments and subsidaries.  They trust my word as I have solved a lot of their tough problems.  I believe a lot of people here are (tech) opinions leaders.  But now, I have to bad mouth FTDI.  This type of company is too dangerous to be around.  You never know what they may resort to in the future, and when they can. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: alex.forencich on October 24, 2014, 06:51:48 am
FTDI actually got (used to have) a lot of fans all over.  If they have approached the whole issue responsibily, and seek help and support, they can get to their pot of gold.  But in a swipe, they inflame these fans into their most bitter enermies.  I am not a high volume buyers.  When I do buy, I bought the so-called industrial grade FTDI cable and sold how good these cables to my clients, and strongly recommend them to get the FTDI for their departments and subsidaries.  They trust my word as I have solved a lot of their tough problems.  I believe a lot of people here are (tech) opinions leaders.  But now, I have to bad mouth FTDI.  This type of company is too dangerous to be around.  You never know what they may resort to in the future, and when they can.

My thoughts exactly.  I have designed FT232RL chips into a couple of research devices (legitimate ones from Digikey, not unknown ones from ebay).  I chose FTDI because 'it just works'.  However, that's no longer the case.  Will it work?  Who knows.  As soon as you start building kill switches into things, then there is a chance that the kill switch will not work completely as anticipated and end up causing collateral damage to a legitimate part.  I believe most of the 'counterfeit' chips are legitimate FTDI-compatible clones that have been illegally re-marked.  They really shot themselves in the foot with this one. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 07:08:54 am
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 07:14:25 am
Just read one of the articles linked to, oh they are a scottish company ? say no more, if i were to generalize I could say "the scotts hate everyone and always think they are right and the injured party" but that would not be fair of all scottish people (I work for a scottish based company)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jippie on October 24, 2014, 07:26:11 am
Nice article for the Dutch visitors of eevblog, written by a Dutch IT jurist:

http://blog.iusmentis.com/2014/10/24/chipleverancier-fdti-saboteert-namaakchips-met-firmwareupdates-mag-dat/ (http://blog.iusmentis.com/2014/10/24/chipleverancier-fdti-saboteert-namaakchips-met-firmwareupdates-mag-dat/)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: alex.forencich on October 24, 2014, 07:28:43 am
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.

Problem is they have to support legacy FTDI devices.  So that would do nothing about clones of the FT232RL and other existing devices.  And just reading out some ID is trivial to duplicate, so it will do nothing to fix the counterfeit problem.  Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 08:01:05 am
From: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/10/windows-update-drivers-bricking-usb-serial-chips-beloved-of-hardware-hackers/)

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update. :palm:

Sounds like MS stepped up and put them in their place over this issue...

PS SIMON.... I never figured you were sparkylabs... I've ordered a number of stuff off you in the past and always been happy :-) (Waves)

Good stuff

I'm yet to catch up on the topic but I think FTDI are going over the top. perhaps they could modify their chip design so that is looks in a certain place for a code and if it's not there or wrong it refuses to use the driver. I know it means changes for them but welcome to life poor FTDI, it would not help old chips being fakes and really as they are already our there and in customers gear it is wrong to punish the end user but it would help protect future devices. Bricking devices people thought to be genuine FTDI will not help their image at all. But then since being back in the Uk i have learnt that consumers have very little rights at all, and the bigger the company and the more "consumer friendly stuff" they sign up to the more unlikely external bodies are to step in and help while your left in an endless loop in their "complaints procedure" or whatever fancy process they have that keep official bodies happy but does very little for the user.

Problem is they have to support legacy FTDI devices.  So that would do nothing about clones of the FT232RL and other existing devices.  And just reading out some ID is trivial to duplicate, so it will do nothing to fix the counterfeit problem.  Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.

True enough i suppose, time they actually tracked down the counterfitters, then they will have the law on their side.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 24, 2014, 08:39:00 am
Someone posted this over at Slashdot, amused me:

>We've discovered some counterfeit parts in your car.
-Oh, really? Well, I'm going to drive over to the dealership take that up with them.
>We've already handled the problem. We crushed your car into a cube.
-Uhhh...
>You have 15 seconds to move your cube.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/msg534731/#msg534731 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/msg534731/#msg534731)

 ;)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: daqq on October 24, 2014, 10:30:47 am
Quote
How will FTDI prove that my devices are, endeed, a counterfit? I could claim that they are originals and stick to it, the same way they are claiming to be counterfiting ICs. I could then claim that even after decapping the IC, they could still be from FTDI. And what if they are all genuine and they're trying to convince us otherwise because they released a bad batch or a buggy firmware / hardware version?
There are MAJOR differences between genuine and fake FT232 - it's a COMPLETELY different die, different behaviour etc. The ONLY way they are similar is in the driver interface and the logo on the encapsulation.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: FTDI Chip on October 24, 2014, 11:27:17 am
We appreciate your feedback, comments and suggestions.
 
As you are probably aware, the semiconductor industry is increasingly blighted by the issue of counterfeit chips and all semiconductor vendors are taking measures to protect their IP and the investment they make in developing innovative new technology. FTDI will continue to follow an active approach to deterring the counterfeiting of our devices, in order to ensure that our customers receive genuine FTDI product. Though our intentions were honourable, we acknowledge that our recent driver update has caused concern amongst our genuine customer base.  I assure you, we value our customers highly and do not in any way wish to cause distress to them.
 
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   
 
As previously stated, we recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors.  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)
 
If you are concerned that you might have a non-genuine device, our support team would be happy to help out.
 
Yours Sincerely
Fred Dart - CEO
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rob77 on October 24, 2014, 11:33:15 am
I am seriously curious - I want to buy one of those counterfeit FT232s and play with it. How/where do I buy one which is definitely NOT the original?

all cheap arduino nano clones ( < $10) with FTDI chip have those fake FT232R chips. the newer cheap nano clones are coming with CH340G instead of the fake FTDI.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 11:37:35 am
The big question to the hobbieist community is will you do that and pay the extra $ for the genuine part or not?
Talking about price. Another post in this thread got me thinking (uh-oh). FTDI supports many platforms and appearantly spends quite some money on driver development. But let's be realistic: those extra drivers are useful for 0.001% of their customers. The rest of the customers pays extra for features they don't need. That is a bad business model IMHO and opens a niche for cheaper clones.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 24, 2014, 12:05:50 pm
I am glad to see FTDI respond here on the forum.  :-+

Although I'm glad to see them post, still doesn't excuse them from maliciously attacking end users, with the intent to harm.  Their stance reversal is only due to miscalculated media attention.

All things considered I will look to FTDI alternatives from now on.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 12:08:14 pm
We appreciate your feedback, comments and suggestions.
 
As you are probably aware, the semiconductor industry is increasingly blighted by the issue of counterfeit chips and all semiconductor vendors are taking measures to protect their IP and the investment they make in developing innovative new technology. FTDI will continue to follow an active approach to deterring the counterfeiting of our devices, in order to ensure that our customers receive genuine FTDI product. Though our intentions were honourable, we acknowledge that our recent driver update has caused concern amongst our genuine customer base.  I assure you, we value our customers highly and do not in any way wish to cause distress to them.
 
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   
 
As previously stated, we recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors.  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)
 
If you are concerned that you might have a non-genuine device, our support team would be happy to help out.
 
Yours Sincerely
Fred Dart - CEO

As has been well said here in the last nearly 40 pages or more users don't mind so much that a driver refuses to work with a future non genuine chips as they can then seek redress from the supplier and as they have not been in use for years and suddenly stop working don't create mayhem and collateral damage that will severely hurt your customers. but to brick historic products is unacceptable. Other companies seek legal redress through laws and lawful methods of enforcing their patents etc, you may find users are willing to work with you to help identify fake supply chains if you work with users. Alternatively you can get out of the chip market and go do whatever else pleases you, there are it would seem plenty of other chip manufacturers so your not exactly like gold dust to anyone. Now let me sit down and wonder why Britain is no longer the leading edge in technology and our economy is not improving, thanks for showing up the British market place and making it an international laughing stock !
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 24, 2014, 12:27:47 pm
We appreciate your feedback, comments and suggestions.
 
As you are probably aware, the semiconductor industry is increasingly blighted by the issue of counterfeit chips and all semiconductor vendors are taking measures to protect their IP and the investment they make in developing innovative new technology. FTDI will continue to follow an active approach to deterring the counterfeiting of our devices, in order to ensure that our customers receive genuine FTDI product. Though our intentions were honourable, we acknowledge that our recent driver update has caused concern amongst our genuine customer base.  I assure you, we value our customers highly and do not in any way wish to cause distress to them.
 
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   
 
As previously stated, we recommend to all our customers to guarantee genuine FTDI products please purchase either from FTDI directly or from one of our authorised distributors.  http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTSalesNetwork.htm)
 
If you are concerned that you might have a non-genuine device, our support team would be happy to help out.
 
Yours Sincerely
Fred Dart - CEO

Mr Dart, please please please have the driver inform the end user that it is counterfeit, rather than just silently doing something.

I'm pretty sure most people who design electronics here don't want counterfeit chips either (I certainly don't), but not everyone has the ability to find out if their not-working chip is because it is a fake, DOA or even just poor circuit design. It is particularly hard with the FT232 as it seems the only real way to tell is to decap or xray the chip (or perhaps doing an even address EEPROM write! but now that the cat is out of the bag, I assume this is going to be worked around by counterfeiters).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 12:30:17 pm
Take the FTDI post as a mere press release, i doubt very much the email address the account is registered is Mr Darts
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: PA0PBZ on October 24, 2014, 12:38:25 pm
Take the FTDI post as a mere press release, i doubt very much the email address the account is registered is Mr Darts

It is: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 12:41:40 pm
Take the FTDI post as a mere press release, i doubt very much the email address the account is registered is Mr Darts

It is: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

Ah yes, posted by a mikeg that ties with the address the account on here is registered to.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 12:45:55 pm
Someone posted this over at Slashdot, amused me:

>We've discovered some counterfeit parts in your car.
-Oh, really? Well, I'm going to drive over to the dealership take that up with them.
>We've already handled the problem. We crushed your car into a cube.
-Uhhh...
>You have 15 seconds to move your cube.

gotta love the Simpson's reference in that ;)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 24, 2014, 12:52:26 pm
The more I think about it, the more I can't shake the feeling that there isn't really a way out of this for FTDI. Looks like they've just given up one of their last secrets about the FT232 that can be used to identify it from the counterfeits (and made it widely known due to the bricking and subsequent attention). They can EOL the FT232, but there are so many legitimate ones out there that they'd still have to support the driver for a while. And I'd be quite surprised if they changed the masks for such an old and stable product.

I suppose they could go for a hail mary and open source the drivers, in the hope that people will stick to legit chips. But I'm thinking that the chances of that are about as small as, well, you know, avian porcines and such.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 12:54:38 pm
mr ceo of ftdi,

as a boss of mine once liked to say, "you cant unring that bell".  you may have revoked the malicious windows update, but it seems that another one is going to replace it; and while it may not actively write to non-genuine parts like yesterday's driver update did, refusing to instantiate the chip (init it) still punishes the end-user and leaves him stranded.  it hurts the companies who -thought- they had real chips and used them in embedded products that we, consumers, bought.

a message on the screen, even with a forced delay and a forced "I understand" typed back in by the user would be mostly acceptable. otoh, refusing to init the driver would still be a malicious act, punishing the end-user.

please think this out very clearly before you take the next move.  you have already lost a lot of customers over this; how you handle this, next, can either save you or send you down the 'sony rootkit fiasco' direction and people will just write you off as a troublesome company that cannot be trusted.  and that's really odd since you once were Good Guys(tm) and we all DID trust you and your products.

we look forward to your return to sanity and hope its a speedy transition ;)


Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 12:59:53 pm
I suppose they could go for a hail mary and open source the drivers, in the hope that people will stick to legit chips. But I'm thinking that the chances of that are about as small as, well, you know, avian porcines and such.
I'm not sure. If the new driver shows a pop-up saying a fake FTDI chip is connected (but still works!) people can go back to the supplier and demand a device with a genuine chip. I contacted the seller of the RS485 boards (which started this thread) and he promised me to send 12 new boards and I urged him to make sure these have genuine FTDI chips on them otherwise they would be as useless as the boards he send me previously. I'm planning to hand out these RS485 boards to my customers so I don't want a 'this is a fake pop-up' appearing on their computer.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 01:08:44 pm
the way I plan to handle this is: lockdown any windows pc that wasn't created by corp IT, and disable its automatic search for windows updates.  I used to trust that, but that trust is now down to ZERO, thanks to both ftdi and MS.  MS also owns some blame here for 'qualifying' this piece of crap malware and they were active in distributing said malware.

so, disable auto-update search for drivers.

then, remove the 2.12 driver AND REBOOT.  if you don't reboot, it stays mem-resident.

then, install the last good driver, 2.10, I believe.

beyond that, I'm going to disable all windows auto-updates on any box I have admin rights to, and be very careful about which ones I accept.  anything marked 'optional' won't ever get onto my systems unless I first do a full image backup (which is a huge PITA).

it sounds like ftdi is going to revise their driver and send out another update, eventually.  I can't trust it. the trust is completely gone with this company, at least for me.  I am an arduino developer at my company (a huge datacom company, everyone has heard of..) and my advice to my peers and bosses is to do just as I've said, above, and also to avoid connecting these serial dongles or embedded arduino boards into anything windows based.  if we stick with linux to do our programming, we will be safe.   and as many large companies do, my win laptop is locked down by a 'group policy' and so I can't disable windows updates, even with admin privs on my company laptop.  that means that its not safe to use windows and arduino development, ever again (at least with ftdi chips).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 24, 2014, 01:16:50 pm
As has been well said here in the last nearly 40 pages or more users don't mind so much that a driver refuses to work with a future non genuine chips as they can then seek redress from the supplier and as they have not been in use for years and suddenly stop working don't create mayhem and collateral damage that will severely hurt your customers.

Their customers, you know the ones that actually bought FTDI chips are not hurt.

but to brick historic products is unacceptable.

The fake chips having no legitimate drivers always were bricks. FTDI found (or decided to implement) a way to stop their drivers working with some? of the fakes and FTDI become the bad guys and 'international laughing stock'?

The level of shit posted in this thread is astounding. Perhaps some of the anger could be directed at the manufacturers of the fake chips except you don't even know who made the 'bricks' which is the whole problem.

Other companies seek legal redress through laws and lawful methods of enforcing their patents etc,

Irrelevant. FTDI do not have to write drivers for fake chips. They specifically say they are only licensed for use on their chips. If you don't want FTDI drivers messing with your chips don't buy chips programmed with VID/PID which requests FTDI drivers to be loaded.

I am quite happy FTDI did what they did and the resulting shit storm highlights the extent of the problem. The people claiming they won't design in FTDI parts in the future are admitting they build low quality shit with parts from unidentified manufacturers - they are the ones I laugh at.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 24, 2014, 01:18:00 pm
I suppose they could go for a hail mary and open source the drivers, in the hope that people will stick to legit chips. But I'm thinking that the chances of that are about as small as, well, you know, avian porcines and such.
I'm not sure. If the new driver shows a pop-up saying a fake FTDI chip is connected (but still works!) people can go back to the supplier and demand a device with a genuine chip. I contacted the seller of the RS485 boards (which started this thread) and he promised me to send 12 new boards and I urged him to make sure these have genuine FTDI chips on them otherwise they would be as useless as the boards he send me previously. I'm planning to hand out these RS485 boards to my customers so I don't want a 'this is a fake pop-up' appearing on their computer.

Looking at the latest reply from FTDI, as you are not the one that collected the chip hot out from the factory oven, you can never know what your customers going to see or not see now, and in the future.  Worse can happen, a few bytes may be changed or lost along the way, etc etc.  One can never be sure as they are operating on different turf.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SydB on October 24, 2014, 01:21:38 pm
:blah: :blah:. The lawyers will certainly make some money here.

Regardless of what you think of FTDI's decision, it is the counterfeiters that are the criminals and it is the responsibility of the goods manufacturer to sell products containing authentic parts. As a manufacturer, if you cannot control your buyers then you should change how you operate. Some people on this topic appear to be sympathising with the manufacturer who has inserted the counterfeit product into a design. Perhaps a minority deserve sympathy but not the majority.

If a designer or budgeter within a company creates a cost list with the price of a component listed as it would be supplied from the grey (risky) market, and not a price from the chip manufacturer’s franchised dealer, and the company goes onto source that component from the grey market then does that company really deserve sympathy? No.

In small and medium quantities, it is not difficult for anyone to buy from a reputable dealer such as Farnell, Mouser or Digikey. In larger numbers, try the franchised dealers for best price. These are very simple supply rules. If part of your organisation decides to cut costs and take a risk with a cheaper deal then it must accept the risk (or incompetence) and prepare to get burnt.

As an individual (or business), when you buy cheap electronics from sources such as ebay, direct from China or from smaller online outlets you are running the risk of buying counterfeit, reject or stolen goods. When other, more reputable outlets exist for what you are buying, and you still choose to buy cheap then you must accept the risk. I have been buying from ebay for years for personal use and most 'sold-as-new' electronics products I have purchased for the lowest price have developed a fault after a while. Nearly all those products have clearly been factory rejects or substandard in some way. I have not whinged about this because I understand the risk. I try to avoid short-duration ebay dealers, those with a significant number of negative feedbacks and those who I consider to have an unreasonable returns policy, and I never buy mains goods unless I take them apart to check for safety first. I rarely buy from China but, when I do, I understand the risk. For my business, I adopt minimum risk and do not buy from China directly and do not buy from ebay unless it is a 'transparent' non-complex product (i.e. non-electrical) to be tested or used for internal administrative purposes e.g. a paper-clip.

If a business can only make money by buying cheap grey market high-risk components then it should not exist. If a business is doing that to be greedy then it has decided to run the risk of getting burnt.

With expert counterfeiters these days, the only way to minimise your risk is to pay the 'going price' and buy from a reputable dealer. Only idiots buy cheap goods from the back of a van in a car park more than once. If you are lucky, the goods are stolen and the negative result is that your purchase is promoting crime. If you are unlucky, the negative result is that the goods will be substandard. The result is always negative. Go watch some early ‘Only Fools and Horses’ episodes to learn what ‘back-of-the-lorry’ goods are.

This morning FTDI confirmed to me that Farnell is an 'official channel partner' and Farnell confirmed that 'order code 1146032rl is sourced directly from FTDI'.

If you have suffered a PID 0000 and want to do something constructive, then post the details of what the product is and where you purchased it from here. It may help identify the counterfeit supply routes.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 24, 2014, 01:22:01 pm
I am quite happy FTDI did what they did and the resulting shit storm highlights the extent of the problem. The people claiming they won't design in FTDI parts in the future are admitting they build low quality shit with parts from unidentified manufacturers - they are the ones I laugh at.

Wrong, and quite laughable.

As a moral human being I take note of malicious people and companies, and base my support and buying decisions accordingly. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Marc on October 24, 2014, 01:25:31 pm
I emailed FDTI with my thoughts and a link to this thread and this was part of the response:

Quote
The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 01:28:28 pm
as usual, rufus is defending the company that exhibited poor decision-making.  not sure why, but some of us can guess.

as was said several times before, if the US MILITARY can't ensure, 100%, that they avoid clones and fakes when building their own hardware, I'm not sure its reasonable in today's 'made in china' world to expect any company to be on the ground, 7x24, 100% of the time, to watch the board makers production lines.

to think so shows total ignorance about how things are done in today's 'outsourced' world.

rufus, give it up.  your cred here is totally shot.  perhaps its time to add you to my ignore list.  I'm getting tired of your posts, to be honst; and they are not adding any value to the discussion.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 01:33:37 pm
Well bottom line is that FTDI was not happy how their new driver came in the news, was afraid to loose existing clientele and so takes a step back.
Ergo this topic was a succes and the people saying that this action was a step too far were and got right.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 01:42:33 pm
it seems that even the wikipedia entry for ftdi (the company) has added a section about the 'controversy':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTDI#Driver_controversy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FTDI#Driver_controversy)

congrats, ftdi.  you are the new rootkit posterboy of 2014.

I expect that, over the years, MBAs will study this as another example of how NOT to act.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 24, 2014, 01:43:21 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: metalphreak on October 24, 2014, 01:47:00 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

You can write "kill" code for any devices that has development tools that let you reassign USB VID/PIDs. It has been a standard feature of many chips for a while now. They're just simply using it maliciously to "brick" devices by abusing the general trust around their official drivers (other malicious hackers writing kill code won't get it into the official microsoft update system for example)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 24, 2014, 01:49:11 pm
as usual, rufus is defending the company that exhibited poor decision-making.  not sure why, but some of us can guess.

Seems I have higher moral standards than most here - you know like if I was in possession of stolen goods I wouldn't call the owner wanting them back immoral or malicious just because I didn't know they were stolen and had been using them a while.

as was said several times before, if the US MILITARY can't ensure, 100%, that they avoid clones and fakes when building their own hardware, I'm not sure its reasonable in today's 'made in china' world to expect any company to be on the ground, 7x24, 100% of the time, to watch the board makers production lines.

to think so shows total ignorance about how things are done in today's 'outsourced' world.

So you are happy to sell product built with fake chips of unknown origin and quality as long as the legitimate source of the chips can't demonstrate they are fake and don't work? - I'm still laughing.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 24, 2014, 01:50:27 pm
rufus, give it up.  your cred here is totally shot.  perhaps its time to add you to my ignore list.  I'm getting tired of your posts, to be honst; and they are not adding any value to the discussion.

One more to my ignore list as well.

Quote
but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.   

This is what a mature company would do from the start, just as effective, no media storm, no innocent just starting out totally screwed makers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: jeremy on October 24, 2014, 01:52:56 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

You can write "kill" code for any devices that has development tools that let you reassign USB VID/PIDs. It has been a standard feature of many chips for a while now. They're just simply using it maliciously to "brick" devices by abusing the general trust around their official drivers (other malicious hackers writing kill code won't get it into the official microsoft update system for example)

This is not true. You can't use the FTDI programming tools to "disable" just the clone chips, as the tools do not perform the preimage attack on the EEPROM checksum (as far as I know?). Using the tools to set the PID to zero will set both clones and legitimate chips to zero.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 24, 2014, 01:54:52 pm
Now that they appear to have realised the error of their ways, maybe the "I'll never use FTDI again" brigade should consider this :
Company F screws up, realises it and fixes it.
Company S hasn't (yet) screwed up.

Which of the two is more likely to do something stupid like this in the future?

"That guy's error cost me $x000"
"Why didn't you fire him"
"Why should I do that, I just spent $X000 training him..."
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Richard Crowley on October 24, 2014, 01:56:58 pm
A quick check of FTDI's website doesn't appear to offer any resources for manufacturers to test their parts to see whether they are genuine.

They seem to have the same attitude as Rufus, simply telling people to "do the right thing" without offering any help to actually do that.
They would have some sympathy from me if they were offering useful resources for people to confirm they were getting the "real thing".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: dr.diesel on October 24, 2014, 01:57:57 pm
Which of the two is more likely to do something stupid like this in the future?

I dunno, you can't usually fix stupid.  I've met lots of these type of people, they never learn.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 02:02:01 pm
Now that they appear to have realised the error of their ways, maybe the "I'll never use FTDI again" brigade should consider this :
Company F screws up, realises it and fixes it.
Company S hasn't (yet) screwed up.

Which of the two is more likely to do something stupid like this in the future?

"That guy's error cost me $x000"
"Why didn't you fire him"
"Why should I do that, I just spent $X000 training him..."

No, no, no. This wasn't a mistake. This was an unbelievably unethical decision deliberately made. There is a difference. I will still avoid FTDI Chips henceforth. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Cypress Semi has a pin-compatible replacement. I've got a few on order already to test.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 24, 2014, 02:04:23 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

A better way is to do a VI characteristics comparison of all permutation of pin combinations with a known good sample.

Yu may be stuck with FTDI chip , but with the latest reply, they still look like a hidden time bomb that may explode anytime.  The only way for FTDI to gain back some trust is stopped their trolls online immediately, and then do a public "execution" of those responsible to show that the cancer is removed totaly, and then give some online tool for supporters to verify their purchases.  They do not need 100% check.  A few percent of people doing that, and having the ability to do that shall help to keep the supply chain clean.  It is MAD MAD MAD to go after the end users, but they still have not given up the ideas of nuclear-bombing the end-users in their wars against the other chip makers. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 02:10:00 pm
Seems I have higher moral standards than most here -
No you are just making a complete fool out of yourself. It is childishly naive to think that you can get a 100% guarantee you won't get functional equivalent chips in mass production or in a product you buy from a third party. It makes me think you have no experience at all with mass producing electronics.

Nobody says that they want to buy funtional equivalent chips on purpose (I wouldn't). But if devices manage to slip through then people would like a warning so they can remedy the situation instead of getting cornered.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 24, 2014, 02:13:39 pm
Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.
Few months? More like a few weeks... look how long it took for the Chinese to clone Apple's Lightning cable - and that was RE from scratch, not in this case where all they have to do is update a mask ROM and start producing new chips.

In fact I think the moment that driver update was released, they saw the problem and were working on fixing it. I'm almost willing to bet they've already fixed it and are just waiting for the wafer fab.

And in all of this remember that the only thing different between an illegal counterfeit and legal clone is the marking on the outside of the package. It is completely legal to reverse-engineer and reimplement an IC - look here for the relevant US law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiconductor_Chip_Protection_Act_of_1984#Reverse_engineering_not_prohibited), the EU also has similar provisions. Based on the die markings of one "Supereal SR1107" clone, and how different it is from the real one, I think this is what happened, and then someone else (illegally, in violation of trademark law) put FTDI's name on it. FTDI hasn't mentioned any patent rights either, so they can't go after them that way. The driver has no way of knowing whether a differently-behaving chip has been branded "FTDI", or is a generic compatible clone, so adding code with the intent of rendering unusable those chips is anti-competitive and could be illegal under the various other laws people have mentioned here.

Also agree with the others that this would be a great time to move to a non-proprietary standard protocol like CDC - for which source code is available for both AVRs, PICs, and several other common MCU families.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 24, 2014, 02:14:36 pm
:blah: :blah:. The lawyers will certainly make some money here.

Regardless of what you think of FTDI's decision, it is the counterfeiters that are the criminals and it is the responsibility of the goods manufacturer to sell products containing authentic parts. As a manufacturer, if you cannot control your buyers then you should change how you operate. Some people on this topic appear to be sympathising with the manufacturer who has inserted the counterfeit product into a design. Perhaps a minority deserve sympathy but not the majority.

If a designer or budgeter within a company creates a cost list with the price of a component listed as it would be supplied from the grey (risky) market, and not a price from the chip manufacturer’s franchised dealer, and the company goes onto source that component from the grey market then does that company really deserve sympathy? No.



I think most poeple on here are concerned about the END USER that gets shafted, correct if a manufacturer uses a bad part it's their fault and they are the first responsible, if people go back to them and tell them they are wankers because their stuff is fake they may be able to go back up their supply chain to find out what happened or inform FTDI and help them find the counterfeiters. but just rendering end user equipment useless is not helping anyone and won't help them track down fakes. They have made this a huge public thing by what they did. they could have been more subtle about it so that their ability to detect and not work with fakes did not become so public and they could have worked on modifications to their future chips to make checks. Any security can be overcome, but you have to know about it first. What they did let the cat right out of the bag and now they have lost this method of detecting fakes, what a bunch of wollys.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 02:22:10 pm
Now that they appear to have realised the error of their ways, maybe the "I'll never use FTDI again" brigade should consider this :
Company F screws up, realises it and fixes it.
Company S hasn't (yet) screwed up.
That thought has crossed my mind as well. The thing is that the rat race between the competition and FTDI has now begun. The competition will change their design to mimic the original devices closer so the current driver can't tell the difference. Then FTDI will look for different ways to make a new driver tell their devices and those from the competition apart. This vicious circle will soon lead to false positives due to silicon aging defects in FTDI devices. The only solution for FTDI is to beat the competition at their own game: lower their prices and let the volume make up for the lower price. Maybe even do a die shrink to get more chips from a wafer. The competition uses a 500nm process where FTDI is still on a >600nm process (http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal (http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal))
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: tggzzz on October 24, 2014, 02:26:06 pm
I think most poeple on here are concerned about the END USER that gets shafted

Curiously I'm also worried that FTDI have shafted themselves by this "Sony rootkit" moment. I'll never put any Sony software on my machines (and by implication would never put a Sony SmartTV on my network) because I can't trust Sony not to brick my equipment.

FTDI produces good stuff AFAIK - but can they be trusted in the future? Such doubt is corrosive, and is a godsend for competitors in the long term.

I hope (and expect that it is a low probability) they have not bricked any equipment that could be regarded as being "of national importance". The risk: the criminal (not civil) law could descend on the individual programmers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 02:29:25 pm
I've been thinking about how this could be done, in terms of working with vendors.  you have adafruit, sparkfun and even amazon selling chips that may have questionable sourced chips in their products.  and being able to return a product is usually limited to a short time period and you may even have to have kept your receipt.  I know I have bought arduino nano clones from amazon and they probably have 'fake' chips in them.  but they are long after the 30 day return period.

does ftdi want to work with the vendors and somehow allow exceptions so that anyone with old hardware that is not genuine can still return it?  is that even possible?  I can't see any practical way to get this process to work.  some sellers are temporary; they 'sell and run' and so even if amazon took the chips back, who do THEY yell at?  even worse with ebay and its 100% useless to try to put pressure on direct china ebay sellers.  you can't even return products to them (if you are not local) at an affordable price.  what costs them a fraction of a dollar to ship to you costs 10x or even 100x that to return the item to them; again, they may not even exist anymore (typical of ebay china sellers; they change usernames and come and go all the time).

it would take a team of fulltime people to scout out all the sellers who have fake chips in their inventory and to serve them court notices.  even if you tried that, many are in countries that will just rip up said court notice and laugh at it.

face it, there is NO WAY to go after companies who use fake chips.  this is the modern world of manufacturing and unless you are a mega corp, you simply cannot punish all the vendors using fake parts.  and, as seen here, its morally wrong to punish consumers and end-users who posess those chips in products they bought.

there is no solution here.  some have suggested that the new driver update should refuse to init the fake chips.  even that is going too far.  it punishes the user and there will be no real pushback that punishes the sellers.

ftdi is just going to have to realize that they have created too good of a product and, as they say, 'imitation is the most sincere form of flattery' (lol).

what do companies do when in this situation?  show the users how much better THEIR real chips are (and I'm sure the real chips ARE better in many ways) - but to disable the use of fake chips is just not the way forward on this problem.

I hope that the next driver update flashes a message to the user, informs them that, in the future, they should run this 'checker' app against all NEW purchases and demand a return to the seller if the test fails.  provide a link in the message popup to download a checker app but do NOT disable the chip that is plugged in and do NOT refuse to enable/init it.  simply educate the user and give him a tool so that, next time he buys a device with this chip, he can test it and at least have 30 days return window to 'punish' the seller.

items that are over 30 days old can't usually be returned and there is no practical way to do a 'buy back' that I'm aware of.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 24, 2014, 02:32:30 pm

A better way is to do a VI characteristics comparison of all permutation of pin combinations with a known good sample.

Yu may be stuck with FTDI chip , but with the latest reply, they still look like a hidden time bomb that may explode anytime.  The only way for FTDI to gain back some trust is stopped their trolls online immediately, and then do a public "execution" of those responsible to show that the cancer is removed totaly, and then give some online tool for supporters to verify their purchases.  They do not need 100% check.  A few percent of people doing that, and having the ability to do that shall help to keep the supply chain clean.  It is MAD MAD MAD to go after the end users, but they still have not given up the ideas of nuclear-bombing the end-users in their wars against the other chip makers.

Redesigning existing products would require both a PCN and a lot of headaches. Adding an EOL production test requires neither of those at the expense of a few seconds. Once you hit a certain size, products become beasts that must be fed. I don't even have the capacity to care about Blame Theater at this point.

Additionally, doing curve traces on every part will take much longer than running a simple chunk of code.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Leonelf on October 24, 2014, 02:40:53 pm
FTDI just tweeted, that they removed the update from WinUpdate and are working on a less invasive option:
http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: free_electron on October 24, 2014, 02:41:33 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."

And that's it. Then someone who has bought something with the fake part can go bombard the seller with requests for the right driver , or ask for his money back.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 02:42:09 pm
even worse with ebay and its 100% useless to try to put pressure on direct china ebay sellers.  you can't even return products to them (if you are not local) at an affordable price.  what costs them a fraction of a dollar to ship to you costs
That is not quite right. A Paypal claim is a strong tool to get your money back and Ebay isn't kind to sellers who sell counterfeit brands. The Chinese seller I got my boards from has nearly 4000 feedbacks so may have sold 10k to 20k devices totalling to a $100k to $500k turnover. I would not call that a hit&run operation.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 02:47:44 pm
you think ebay is going to even LISTEN to you after 30 or perhaps 90 days?

are they going to reimburse you for the high cost of shipping back to china?

I once bought a laptop battery from a china ebay seller and it was a fake (the chip in the battery reported the wrong data and the charger never charged it well, plus it had fit/size issues with its cheap plastic casing).  ebay told me to send  it back and I did, but at the time I didn't realize it had to be the most expensive form of shipping (with tracking).  I asked the post office when I was there if this form of mailing was trackable and they (incorrectly) told me it was.  well, it was a half lie: you could see it left the US and 'entered china' but that was all.  OF COURSE, the seller denied ever getting the battery back and the cost of 'cheap' shipping was $20, as it was!  I ended up being out $20 AND the battery; the seller got the battery back (I'm pretty sure) and laughed at the whole thing.

ebay is not going to help here unless they simply refund you outright OR foot the bill for prepaid return shipping to the seller.  you think they'll do that?  HA!  I seriously doubt it.

amazon might; they are a high-service vendor.  they have done things like that, in the past, for me.  but ebay/paypal?  they are thieves, themselves, and they now exist to protect their cash cows, the 'power sellers'.  and most of the power sellers are in china and 99% of them could care less about IP rights.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Leonelf on October 24, 2014, 02:49:15 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."

And that's it. Then someone who has bought something with the fake part can go bombard the seller with requests for the right driver , or ask for his money back.

I think they should rather give us a non-cryptic message like "The product you are attempting to use is using a faked FTDI chip. Please contact the manufacturer"
Then it should just not work (not support it, but not kill it). Then everyone has a share: End-users know what's wrong (kinda), people w/ skill can just use an older driver and FTDI does something against fraud.
That was my main problem w/ the pid=0 driver thing: The enduser didn't know what's wrong
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 02:50:19 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."
Indeed except that at the moment the driver is unable to tell the difference.
There should be a cryptographic handshake in the protocol before the driver activates. Only drivers AND chips with the correct PSK and secret protocol should accept eachother.
It is always difficult if not impossible to secure hw and sw afterwards, you have to design it in from the beginning.
And the next disaster is already lurking in the shadows: car electronics with CAN bus are not secure either and everybody that has a bit of security knowledge is already  :scared:
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 02:50:50 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."

And that's it. Then someone who has bought something with the fake part can go bombard the seller with requests for the right driver , or ask for his money back.

and if its beyond the return period, often which could be as little as 7 days or as much as 30 or 90 days?  if its outside the window OR if the seller left the business or changed  names; how do you propose this actually work, in the Real World(tm)?

like I said in my previous post, a download link to a 'tester' app would help and a message that informs the user that NEXT TIME he buys, he should run this tester while still in the 30 days return window.  that's fair and do-able.  anything else is just plain wrong.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SydB on October 24, 2014, 02:53:00 pm
just rendering end user equipment useless is not helping anyone and won't help them track down fakes

Well, this has raised the awareness of counterfeit components and caused problems for those supply lines using the fakes. The problem is that a lot of people have been upset. Also it is not a bad thing that a few more people will have learned not to blindly accept Windows updates (or unnecessary driver updates for that matter).

Quote
their ability to detect and not work with fakes did not become so public and they could have worked on modifications to their future chips to make checks

I agree the sensible thing would have been for the driver update to simply not work with the fake chips, and not actually alter them, if possible. Not sure what you mean by 'modifications to their future chips to make checks' as modifications just get copied.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 02:57:54 pm
you think ebay is going to even LISTEN to you after 30 or perhaps 90 days?
You are barking to the wrong tree. Open a Paypal claim. It has worked for me several times.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 02:59:06 pm
Cypress Semi has a pin-compatible replacement. I've got a few on order already to test.

Are you sure they are genuine? Seems like the cloners would do well to switch to stamping a Cypress logo on their ICs and using Cypress' VID/PID in future, now they know that FTDI is actively trying to stop their drivers working with fake parts.

I buy from DigiKey and Mouser, so my chances are good I'm getting legit product. Furthermore, I believe the Cypress chip follows the CDC standard, so there's no vendor specific driver they can mess with (I may be wrong - I'll know when the chips get here and I test them).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 02:59:41 pm
FTDI just tweeted, that they removed the update from WinUpdate and are working on a less invasive option:
http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.


EDIT: It has been pointed out to me that I presented this as fact, where I have no basis to state as such. It should read:

That's likely not quite accurate. Microsoft probably removed the update and bitch-slapped them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 03:01:38 pm
That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.
Thats what you said numerous times and probbably like to believe but there is 0 evidence to back it up so it is pure speculation from your side?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: limbo on October 24, 2014, 03:05:43 pm
FTDI Official statement about driver removal: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 03:05:49 pm
That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.
Thats what you said numerous times and probbably like to believe but there is 0 evidence to back it up so it is pure speculation from your side?

arstechnica (iirc) posted that MS did, in fact, remove 2 versions of the driver from its update site.  we can guess its 2.11 and 2.12, since 2.10 was the last known good working version, malware-free.

why do you doubt that MS has removed the updates?  I'm not MS fan (not even close) but I have no reason to believe this was false reporting from A.T.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: XFDDesign on October 24, 2014, 03:13:46 pm
why do you doubt that MS has removed the updates?  I'm not MS fan (not even close) but I have no reason to believe this was false reporting from A.T.

It also makes business sense for MS to intervene. They have enough problems with Windows Updates killing systems, the last thing they want is to get inundated with complains about how their update bricked user's peripherals. Everyone would look at MS first, as that would have been the most recent system change. This is a near "free" act of preventative maintenance on their part.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: limbo on October 24, 2014, 03:14:41 pm
It is not removed yet! it will be next week...
read this: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Kjelt on October 24, 2014, 03:15:10 pm
why do you doubt that MS has removed the updates?  I'm not MS fan (not even close) but I have no reason to believe this was false reporting from A.T.
Let me rephrase so it is more clear and unambiguous:
I do believe MS removed the updates.
BUT I rather do believe a CEO from a multi million$ company stating in an official press release that their company asked MS to remove them than the words of a youngster that says that MS has removed the updates and "bitch slapped" that company.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SydB on October 24, 2014, 03:17:32 pm
It is not removed yet! it will be next week...
read this: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

Re-read it buddy. It has been pulled from the Windows updates.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Bored@Work on October 24, 2014, 03:19:30 pm
Well, this has raised the awareness of counterfeit components and caused problems for those supply lines using the fakes. The problem is that a lot of people have been upset.

Yes, like raising the awareness of people not cleaning windows by smashing every dirty window in sight. Clever move.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Bored@Work on October 24, 2014, 03:26:02 pm
It is not removed yet! it will be next week...
read this: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

I can't believe Mr. Dart got zero comments on that blog posting. Some minion at FTDI might be busy ruining the Delete button on his keyboard.

What the posting also shows is that FTDi didn't learn its lesson.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 24, 2014, 03:28:55 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."

The device doesn't load anything. It's the OS and driver that decide what to 'load'.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 24, 2014, 04:08:58 pm
It is not removed yet! it will be next week...
read this: http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)
I can't believe Mr. Dart got zero comments on that blog posting. Some minion at FTDI might be busy ruining the Delete button on his keyboard.
What is there to comment on? It is a vague press release. Not an invitation for debate.
Quote
What the posting also shows is that FTDi didn't learn its lesson.
I agree. I'm not going to change my decision not to put FTDI chips in my design. One way or another FTDI has decided to kill their competition. I don't want to become collateral damage.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 24, 2014, 07:14:06 pm
That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.
Thats what you said numerous times and probbably like to believe but there is 0 evidence to back it up so it is pure speculation from your side?

arstechnica (iirc) posted that MS did, in fact, remove 2 versions of the driver from its update site.  we can guess its 2.11 and 2.12, since 2.10 was the last known good working version, malware-free.

why do you doubt that MS has removed the updates?  I'm not MS fan (not even close) but I have no reason to believe this was false reporting from A.T.

Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

That would seem to say FTDI removed them, not Microsoft.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 07:30:22 pm
why do you doubt that MS has removed the updates?  I'm not MS fan (not even close) but I have no reason to believe this was false reporting from A.T.
Let me rephrase so it is more clear and unambiguous:
I do believe MS removed the updates.
BUT I rather do believe a CEO from a multi million$ company stating in an official press release that their company asked MS to remove them than the words of a youngster that says that MS has removed the updates and "bitch slapped" that company.

I'm 46, thank you very much. And I would trust just about anyone more than I would trust someone in an obvious position to need to spin a situation.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 09:14:33 pm
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

That would seem to say FTDI removed them, not Microsoft.

Yeah, you really need to un-spin that.

What sort of engineering assistance could FTDI possibly need from Microsoft to prevent them from knowingly and deliberately supplying a weaponized driver to Windows Update?

No, what likely really happened was that Microsoft's legal team had a "chat" with someone over there and they had an "Oh shit!" moment. And everything after that has been spin control.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Chipguy on October 24, 2014, 09:20:42 pm
I appreciate the statement FTDI put out on their forum site.
It is the only action to take: Remove the destructive code but refuse to work with counterfeit devices.

However the damage is done.
At our today's engineering meeting we got a good analogy of what FTDI did:
It is like the shopkeeper who knows you for 10+ years suddenly points his gun at you saying "if you don't steal you have nothing to fear".
Sure you would think "WTF?"  |O

Well at least the shopkeeper has put the gun away now, saying "If you steal I won't talk to you anymore"
Sure I am fine with that.

All the FTDI chips we purchased the past year (around 17K units in total) went through their official sales network,
so the risk is almost 0. Phew...
I am still not happy.... but....whatever

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: wraper on October 24, 2014, 09:21:00 pm
One way or another FTDI has decided to kill their competition.
Yeah, competition. What will you think when will get such a competition  >:D. People will think that your product is a crap which sells everywhere while actually you can barely sell anything at all.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 24, 2014, 09:33:02 pm
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

That would seem to say FTDI removed them, not Microsoft.

Yeah, you really need to un-spin that.

What sort of engineering assistance could FTDI possibly need from Microsoft to prevent them from knowingly and deliberately supplying a weaponized driver to Windows Update?

No, what likely really happened was that Microsoft's legal team had a "chat" with someone over there and they had an "Oh shit!" moment. And everything after that has been spin control.

And you need to stop posting opinion and assumption as fact.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: janoc on October 24, 2014, 09:38:50 pm
One way or another FTDI has decided to kill their competition.
Yeah, competition. What will you think when will get such a competition  >:D. People will think that your product is a crap which sells everywhere while actually you can barely sell anything at all.

I would rather think that they have pretty much killed their own customer base with this stunt. Who is going to trust them now?

J.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 09:40:07 pm
Quote
Update: Microsoft has given us a statement:

Yesterday FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.

That would seem to say FTDI removed them, not Microsoft.

Yeah, you really need to un-spin that.

What sort of engineering assistance could FTDI possibly need from Microsoft to prevent them from knowingly and deliberately supplying a weaponized driver to Windows Update?

No, what likely really happened was that Microsoft's legal team had a "chat" with someone over there and they had an "Oh shit!" moment. And everything after that has been spin control.

And you need to stop posting opinion and assumption as fact.

I am not doing anything of the sort. Do you think the scenario I described is unlikely? What did I say other than that?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 24, 2014, 09:42:30 pm
And you need to stop posting opinion and assumption as fact.

I am not doing anything of the sort. Do you think the scenario I described is unlikely? What did I say other than that?

FTDI just tweeted, that they removed the update from WinUpdate and are working on a less invasive option:
http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 09:45:41 pm
And you need to stop posting opinion and assumption as fact.

I am not doing anything of the sort. Do you think the scenario I described is unlikely? What did I say other than that?

FTDI just tweeted, that they removed the update from WinUpdate and are working on a less invasive option:
http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)

That's not quite accurate. Microsoft removed the update and bitch-slapped them.

You are absolutely right. I retract that, and replace it with

That's likely not quite accurate. Microsoft probably removed the update and bitch-slapped them.

I apologize for not being more clear earlier.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Monkeh on October 24, 2014, 09:46:49 pm
And in that case, yes, it's entirely possible Microsoft told them where to stick it.

On the other hand, they may have realised they just shot themselves in the foot with a 12-gauge and done something about it for themselves.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Precipice on October 24, 2014, 09:50:12 pm
I would rather think that they have pretty much killed their own customer base with this stunt. Who is going to trust them now?

You're kidding, yeah?
Anyone with an interest in the supply chain being less full of fakes might see this as an opening shot, however misplaced, in that battle.
They were never going to sell their smallest devices to the sub-dollar serial widget manufacturer or the Chinese knockoff Arduino market, so have lost nothing there.
No longer having their drivers blamed for problems with the VID/PID rippers' budget and variously crappy widgets sounds like a good thing.
Having designers explicitly call for real FTDI chips from the CEMs - that might deliver real volumes of sales.
I, for one, will continue to design in and specify FTDI parts where they're the best fit.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 24, 2014, 09:51:00 pm
And you need to stop posting opinion and assumption as fact.

Just as you need to stop posting content-free snark  :-//
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 24, 2014, 09:53:48 pm
I think the real take-away here is that devices that rely on proprietary drivers always leave you at the mercy of the suppliers of those drivers, in sharp contrast to devices that implement open standards. Here I am specifically contrasting FTDI devices with CDC devices.

Where an open standard exists, this incident shows the value proposition of adopting it.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 24, 2014, 10:06:23 pm
Current FTDI driver offered in FTDI Drivers Download page (v2.12.00) does it. Im attaching an image with the attack with the relevant USB Transactions using a USB sniffing software, confirming the driver disassembly behaviour posted a few days ago.  :rant:
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rasz on October 24, 2014, 10:09:52 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

you can build such tool yourself using this joke linux patch - its replicating what the windows driver did
https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129



A quick check of FTDI's website doesn't appear to offer any resources for manufacturers to test their parts to see whether they are genuine.

such tool would be used by chinese designer to perfect his copy, chicken and egg problem


Incidentally, the current difference that they are exploiting is quite easy to fix and in a few months we will see clones that are invulnerable to the current destructive clone counterfeit test.
Few months? More like a few weeks... look how long it took for the Chinese to clone Apple's Lightning cable - and that was RE from scratch, not in this case where all they have to do is update a mask ROM and start producing new chips.

In fact I think the moment that driver update was released, they saw the problem and were working on fixing it. I'm almost willing to bet they've already fixed it and are just waiting for the wafer fab.


except for the fact your fake chips just lost a ton of value and desirability, people in big companies might do meetings discussing FTDI policy, but most chinese sellers/designers will simply STOP using fakes outright - fake sold over ebay  equals to bad feedback at best, paypal chargeback and black mark (few of those and paypal freezes your account) at worst. There might still be few scammers/wise guys trying to sell old stock bundled with CD including older driver, but all of a sudden its a very dangerous proposition if they want to remain on ebay platform

Also agree with the others that this would be a great time to move to a non-proprietary standard protocol like CDC - for which source code is available for both AVRs, PICs, and several other common MCU families.

ot was never about lack of drivers, it was about convenience, FTDI driver is just there, by default, everywhere, so why bother reinventing the wheel.


you think ebay is going to even LISTEN to you after 30 or perhaps 90 days?
are they going to reimburse you for the high cost of shipping back to china?

45 days minimum + YO DO NOT pay for any shipping in case of a fake


I think the real take-away here is that devices that rely on proprietary drivers always leave you at the mercy of the suppliers of those drivers, in sharp contrast to devices that implement open standards. Here I am specifically contrasting FTDI devices with CDC devices.

Where an open standard exists, this incident shows the value proposition of adopting it.

I agree in principle, problem is windows now enforces driver signing so you either pay M$ tax or use something that is already signed
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 24, 2014, 10:12:44 pm
......
All the FTDI chips we purchased the past year (around 17K units in total) went through their official sales network,
so the risk is almost 0. Phew...
I am still not happy.... but....whatever

Your chance is not 0, it is as good as FTDI can detect and can control.  I knew of a case that was done by an official sale channel part seller (not FTDI chip), he would replace a certain percantage with his own-printed part.  As years go by, the percentage increases.  I could not remember how was it finally detected, either the sale figure became too low, or through part failure analysis that exposed him.  He was finally removed, but the whole thing was kept secret from the public.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 24, 2014, 10:19:22 pm
As a bit of an oddity, I'll ask the folks here for a similar thing I asked of FTDI support:

Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).

you can build such tool yourself using this joke linux patch - its replicating what the windows driver did
https://lkml.org/lkml/2014/10/23/129

I think you need far less than that. You can easily send the EEPROM writing requests using the FTDI D2XX .NET library for example. Writing a couple of lines in C#  can replicate the attack that is beeing used by FTDI.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: all_repair on October 24, 2014, 10:31:30 pm
The simplest solution would be to have the driver pop up a message that says :
" This device attempted to load the wrong driver. Please contact the device manufacturer to get an updated driver."

And that's it. Then someone who has bought something with the fake part can go bombard the seller with requests for the right driver , or ask for his money back.

Why fight with the commodity chip makers? With such a brand and a large user base for their driver, they can capitalize it.  Sell some advertisement? Or sell unlock code to stop the advert?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 24, 2014, 10:47:24 pm
And why not writing an Open Source library 100% compatible for a uC? Would it be legal? Who wants some?



Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: alex.forencich on October 24, 2014, 11:09:29 pm
And why not writing an Open Source library 100% compatible for a uC? Would it be legal? Who wants some?

I would say that it's perfectly legal for interoperability.  As long as nothing about the protocol is patented by FTDI, anyway. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Someone on October 24, 2014, 11:19:03 pm
I think the real take-away here is that devices that rely on proprietary drivers always leave you at the mercy of the suppliers of those drivers, in sharp contrast to devices that implement open standards. Here I am specifically contrasting FTDI devices with CDC devices.

Where an open standard exists, this incident shows the value proposition of adopting it.
Yep, proprietary is the word here. Will we see an open source driver for the FTDI devices included into windows so the clones will be safe?

you think ebay is going to even LISTEN to you after 30 or perhaps 90 days?
are they going to reimburse you for the high cost of shipping back to china?
45 days minimum + YO DO NOT pay for any shipping in case of a fake
Ebay/Paypal policy changes between different countries, many of us have to pay return shipping for any problem and it has to be tracked (even when trackable services are not available to the country!).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 24, 2014, 11:49:47 pm
things may have changed on ebay since my laptop battery problem, but I did report it to ebay as a FAKE and yet I was told to pay for return shipping and it most certainly was not free.  I had photos and even some linux syslog dumps to show ebay (not that they'd even know what to do with such data).  they still told me to send it back via trackable mail and there was NO voucher or prepaid shipping label sent to me.

it was at least 2 years ago, though, maybe even 3.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: uski on October 25, 2014, 12:17:55 am
things may have changed on ebay since my laptop battery problem, but I did report it to ebay as a FAKE and yet I was told to pay for return shipping and it most certainly was not free.  I had photos and even some linux syslog dumps to show ebay (not that they'd even know what to do with such data).  they still told me to send it back via trackable mail and there was NO voucher or prepaid shipping label sent to me.

it was at least 2 years ago, though, maybe even 3.

It all depends what you report with eBay.
If you report an item that does not work, it's easy, you will be refunded.
If you report a counterfeit item, it's much harder to get a refund.

Years ago (5-6 years ago ?) I remember filing a claim for a fake Sandisk CompactFlash card. I got an e-mail from SanDisk confirming that I've been shipped a fake card, but PayPal wanted me to hire and pay a legal expert (!!!) and to ship the card to China back to the seller.

The worst thing is that the seller didn't even understand why I wasn't happy... "why aren't you happy, the card works no ?"
I have no problem with buying cheap stuff from China, I just want to know what I'm buying.

It's the same with FTDI here, I don't care if Chinese manufacturers make binary compatible chips, I only care about people writing FTDI on chips which are not made by FTDI, and shipping those to me. But even when that happens, I'm not responsible for it, I can't check the whole supply chain.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: linux-works on October 25, 2014, 01:34:43 am
good info to know.  sounds like they put undue burden on YOU if you report something as fake.

I know I did report the battery as fake but they didn't give me a run-around; they just said to ship it back and ship it trackable.  my mistake was not knowing that trackable != trackable (the post office gave me bad advice; if I can't ask them about their own service, how am I supposed to know any better?)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: edavid on October 25, 2014, 01:54:33 am
things may have changed on ebay since my laptop battery problem, but I did report it to ebay as a FAKE and yet I was told to pay for return shipping and it most certainly was not free.  I had photos and even some linux syslog dumps to show ebay (not that they'd even know what to do with such data).  they still told me to send it back via trackable mail and there was NO voucher or prepaid shipping label sent to me.

it was at least 2 years ago, though, maybe even 3.

That's not really relevant since eBay has changed their rules multiple times since then.  The current rule is that the seller has to pay return shipping, if any.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Mr Smiley on October 25, 2014, 02:04:51 am
Looks like they might be changing their minds

http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053 (http://www.ftdichipblog.com/?p=1053)


 :)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: e100 on October 25, 2014, 02:11:55 am
Using an unannounced automatic silent update via the 'trusted' Microsoft distribution channel was designed to brick as many fake chips as possible in a short space of time whilst hiding behind the Microsoft update curtain. Many consumers will be blaming Microsoft for the bricked chips.

In addition, using Microsoft as a distribution channel completely undermines the whole point of operating system 'trusted' updates which are supposed to increase reliability and fix security flaws.
It is not a medium for fighting a war against fake chips.
Like many others, I have now disabled automatic driver updates. As a consequence my computer is less secure and possibly less reliable than it could be, thanks to the action of one chip company, which from this point onwards cannot be trusted.

Supply chains are imperfect. No manufacturer can guarantee that every chip in every product is 100% genuine, so for a chip vendor to distribute a driver with a kill switch to end-users without any prior warning to manufacturers is just crazy.
It panics the companies that are trying to do everything right causing much wasted time and money.

It will be interesting to see if Microsoft continues to distribute future FTDI driver updates as FTDI has caused a bunch of bad publicity surrounding Windows update for no gain whatsoever for  Microsoft or their customers.
Distributing drivers via an operating system vendor is a privilege, not a right.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rdl on October 25, 2014, 02:37:22 am
You don't have to disable Windows Update to avoid driver updates. You can stop driver downloads without losing the security updates for the system in general.

...
Like many others, I have now disabled automatic driver updates. As a consequence my computer is less secure and possibly less reliable than it could be, thanks to the action of one chip company, which from this point onwards cannot be trusted.
...

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Hardcorefs on October 25, 2014, 04:14:13 am
things may have changed on ebay since my laptop battery problem, but I did report it to ebay as a FAKE and yet I was told to pay for return shipping and it most certainly was not free.  I had photos and even some linux syslog dumps to show ebay (not that they'd even know what to do with such data).  they still told me to send it back via trackable mail and there was NO voucher or prepaid shipping label sent to me.

it was at least 2 years ago, though, maybe even 3.

It all depends what you report with eBay.
If you report an item that does not work, it's easy, you will be refunded.
If you report a counterfeit item, it's much harder to get a refund.

Years ago (5-6 years ago ?) I remember filing a claim for a fake Sandisk CompactFlash card. I got an e-mail from SanDisk confirming that I've been shipped a fake card, but PayPal wanted me to hire and pay a legal expert (!!!) and to ship the card to China back to the seller.

The worst thing is that the seller didn't even understand why I wasn't happy... "why aren't you happy, the card works no ?"
I have no problem with buying cheap stuff from China, I just want to know what I'm buying.

It's the same with FTDI here, I don't care if Chinese manufacturers make binary compatible chips, I only care about people writing FTDI on chips which are not made by FTDI, and shipping those to me. But even when that happens, I'm not responsible for it, I can't check the whole supply chain.


Not any more……
Starting from the 20 November, Paypal have a new policy.
1. Quires / refunds go from 42 to 180 days
2. Fakes are no longer required to be returned before you can claim a refund.

As regards to buying 'cheap stuff' from China , even the suppliers don't know what they are selling.
The issue I have with this whole FTDI fiasco is that the  fake chips are NOT being sold cheaper, they also under perform not reaching the full 3mbs or are generally unstable.

The main problem is  that E* scum, are  circumventing absolutely boatloads of legal requirements as regards fit for purpose, IP violations and safety requirements and E* the company are taking a massive cut of that illegal business.
Very few if any of the suppliers are even aware how to perform safety/quality checks on the products they are selling, and I have personally seen and photographed illegal business practices by E* suppliers that I have tracked down in Shenzhen, even know of at least one that is selling dangerous kit into the market.(Reporting it got MY E* account closed down, because until it is reported E* has plausible deniability…after that they are opened up to all sorts of legal problems…. SOLUTION: cannot check supplier, so trash whistle blower and word will get around)

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 25, 2014, 04:38:59 am
Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road. This is, in essence, a vulnerability without a clear way to patch it - so the easiest route I can do is attempt to brick any devices that might get a non genuine part in the lot. (I buy all my parts from Mouser and Digikey, but they're not omnipotent or flawless).
Here is some code that will non-destructively test for clones and also fix them if bricked.
https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_clone_tool.py

It should work on a Linux system with Python2 and libftdi1 with Python bindings. I have not tested it on clones as I don't have any, but I believe it should work. AIUI libftdi also works on Mac OS X and Windows, so you should be able to get it to work on those OSes too.
It should work on a Linux system with Python2 and PyUSB. I have tested it and it accurately detects and restores clones. It should also work on Windows and Mac OS X if you have PyUSB with a working backend installed (although I guess Windows > XP might still complain about the zero PID; haven't tested that, if you do please report back).

Edit: I am dumb and forgot that I was using a patched libftdi1 to make this work. Rewrote the entire thing to use libusb instead. You need PyUSB (under Ubuntu, apt-get install python-usb).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: krater on October 25, 2014, 05:07:24 am
Okay, FTDI will now go one step back. They talked with their lawyers and they sayd, that what you do is really dumb and dangerous, and you're caught now. And now, one month after the kill-update released, rhey step back and want to sell that to us as community success.
F*** YOU FTDI !
I will never use one part of you in a new design.

They don't lerned, they just try to limit the damage. The risk that they do some thing again is not smaller than yesterday....
If they lerned, they would release a update that repairs the bricked chips....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: (*steve*) on October 25, 2014, 06:14:46 am
ere is some code that will non-destructively test for clones.
https://mrcn.st/t/detect_ftdi_clone.py

Forgive me, I'm not a python user.  I get the error:

ImportError: No module named ftdi1

I assume this means I don't have the python bindings for this.  How do I install them (I'm using Linux Mint)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: cypherpunks on October 25, 2014, 06:32:02 am
Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road.
Marcan posted some reverse-engineered source (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/msg535270/#msg535270) earlier in this thread (variable and function names are not original):

https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png (https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png)
https://marcan.st/transf/checkbrick.png (https://marcan.st/transf/checkbrick.png)

It's quite simple:
Seeing this, what they did actually makes a little bit of sense: the bricking is sort of a side-effect of the detection algorithm.  They could have done a test-write to a different word, but I can see a bloody-minded person saying "fuck it, don't bother putting the old value back, just leave it broken".

Of course, they failed to think through the consequences of shooting the horse long after it had left the barn and causing massive amounts of pain for people who were also victims of the counterfeiting.  And for whom the easiest way to ensure it never happens again is to switch to a competitor's product.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: alex.forencich on October 25, 2014, 06:55:18 am
Can someone create a tool to reproduce the "kill" operation of the 2.12 driver? If this is a "thing" that can happen, I'd prefer to add a few seconds of production test time to screen parts that might cause the end-user grief down the road.
Marcan posted some reverse-engineered source (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/reviews/ftdi-driver-kills-fake-ftdi-ft232/msg535270/#msg535270) earlier in this thread (variable and function names are not original):

https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png (https://marcan.st/transf/ftdi_evil.png)
https://marcan.st/transf/checkbrick.png (https://marcan.st/transf/checkbrick.png)

It's quite simple:
  • This is only run on chips with bcdDevice & 0xff00 == 0x0600.
  • It exploits a quirk of FTDI's EEPROM: writes are 32 bits, so writes to even words are buffered until the corresponding odd word is written.  The clones allow 16-bit writes.
  • It writes eeprom[2] (the PID) to 0, and eeprom[62] (unused) to a value that keeps the checksum valid.
  • On a real FTDI chip, neither write actually does anything.
  • On a fake, they go through and achieve the brick.  (I'm guessing they have to get the checksum right or the parts will fall back to useable default ROM settings.)
Seeing this, what they did actually makes a little bit of sense: the bricking is sort of a side-effect of the detection algorithm.  They could have done a test-write to a different word, but I can see a bloody-minded person saying "fuck it, don't bother putting the old value back, just leave it broken".

Of course, they failed to think through the consequences of shooting the horse long after it had left the barn and causing massive amounts of pain for people who were also victims of the counterfeiting.  And for whom the easiest way to ensure it never happens again is to switch to a competitor's product.

Yeah, what I think happened is they figured out that this was a difference between the chips and they decided that they would just send the commands to all FT232RL chips so they don't explicitly discriminate against the 'counterfeit' chip.  Perhaps they figured this would legally be a sound method (hey, we send the same commands to all FT232RL chips, it just 'happens' to brick the 'counterfeit' ones).  However, with the trouble of going through and recalculating the checksum, the code cannot just be explained away and obviously has no other purpose than explicit malicious intent against alleged counterfeit chips. 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: cypherpunks on October 25, 2014, 07:45:34 am
Fluke did a much better job with the Sparkfun's yellow DMMs.
Better, but they were still assholes.  They offered to replace SparkFun's 2000 multimeters with $30K of Fluke products.  Nice, but that's not going to fill 2000 customer orders!

And needlessly destroyed 2000 fully functional, if low-quality, multimeters.

The classy thing to do would have been to simply grant SparkFun a temporary trademark license if they agreed to fix things as fast as humanly possible.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: miguelvp on October 25, 2014, 07:53:40 am
Those sparkfun meters deserved their death.

If at least they were decent meters then maybe, but there is no way to grant a license (temporary or not) because that will kind of mean endorsement, which fluke, in good conscience, just couldn't do.

I think fluke handle matters pretty well, and it's not like those meters where back ordered. Even after the fiasco, there were some left at the local microcenter.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SeanB on October 25, 2014, 08:54:56 am
Even has made it to "main stream" tech press, or TheRegister, if you want to look.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/24/ftdi_bricking_driver_response/ (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/24/ftdi_bricking_driver_response/)

Wonder how many of the commenters are also on this thread, the comments page look remarkably similar.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: cypherpunks on October 25, 2014, 09:13:57 am
Those sparkfun meters deserved their death.
WTF?  They are sold as Digital Multimeter - Basic (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12966), i.e. "cheap but basically functional".  AFAIK, that's exactly what they are.  I have a pile of even cheaper Harbour Freight multimeters (http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-multimeter-98025.html) precisely because they're basically disposable.  I can stash one anywhere one might be useful.  There's one in the car with the jack and spare fuses just in case, one in the drawer with the spare batteries to ensure I don't get a dead one mixed in, and so on. 
Quote
there is no way to grant a license (temporary or not) because that will kind of mean endorsement, which fluke, in good conscience, just couldn't do.
Utter rubbish.  They are required to police their trademark or lose it.  But just like a simple defense to adverse posession of real estate is to grant permission, you can do the same with a trademark.  SparkFun had already sold thousands of the things in yellow, and was going to seel thousands more after changing the rubber.  Letting you off with a warning isn't endorsement.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Bored@Work on October 25, 2014, 09:34:56 am
Those sparkfun meters deserved their death.
WTF?  They are sold as Digital Multimeter - Basic (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12966), i.e. "cheap but basically functional".  AFAIK, that's exactly what they are.  I have a pile of even cheaper Harbour Freight multimeters (http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-multimeter-98025.html) precisely because they're basically disposable.
Meters with fake safety ratings need to die. And contrary to your opinion, they are not basically functional. Safety is an essential and basic function. These crap doesn't provide it.

And seeing how SparkFun advertise the crap multimeter, SparkFun are essentially assholse here, bullshitting "starving students".
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: hans on October 25, 2014, 10:09:19 am
And why not writing an Open Source library 100% compatible for a uC? Would it be legal? Who wants some?

Sure, here is a kick-off project for those who want to follow along:

http://www.microchip.com/forums/FindPost/275586 (http://www.microchip.com/forums/FindPost/275586)

What if I would write a FTDI-emulated device and use it only on Linux. Do the Windows license terms apply? Doubtful.

As for Windows/FTDI terms:
Quote
- The licence only allows use of the Software with, and the Software will only work with Genuine FTDI Components (as defined in the Licence Terms). Use of the Software as a driver for a component that is not a Genuine FTDI Component MAY IRRETRIEVABLY DAMAGE THAT COMPONENT.
- It is your responsibility to make sure that all chips you use the Software as a driver for are Genuine FTDI Components. If in doubt then contact FTDI.

Wouldn't that make it my own risk to run non-FTDI parts with the driver? They may be damaged? Are we then cowboys (but not outlaws) for taking risks?

The FTDI protocol is not complicated. It's around in the linux kernel free to watch. Whether it's a moral thing to do; hmm.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 11:19:19 am
I use FTDI parts in designs, and have done for years.  They have always been a good company to deal with, sales, support, etc...

Why exactly it FTDI's problem if their drivers are used outside of their T&C's???
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rsjsouza on October 25, 2014, 11:19:56 am
Meters with fake safety ratings need to die.
I agree. Since the early days of electricity/electronics, we are taught how to carefully read the specs of anything - including test gear - before using it. Since Sparkfun is trusted by newcomers and inexperienced hobbyists, in my opinion they should be extra careful with the misleading safety ratings of the equipment they sell. 

To me a similar scenario is having an infamous capacitor brand mark their products as X2 or Y2 when they are not, "just because they are cheap". Experienced folks will recognize the brand and stay away but newcomers will trust the markings blindly.

And that is the biggest peeve with all this FTDI issue: at the beginning I was siding with FTDI but, after some consideration, "newcomers" will blindly believe the functionality of the product they bought - thus I consider this a bad practice on FTDI's part. OTOH, experienced folks trying to use this for professional purposes should know better: buying the cheapest of eBay when your reputation is on the line is asking for trouble.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: EEVblog on October 25, 2014, 11:25:52 am
Why exactly it FTDI's problem if their drivers are used outside of their T&C's???

It's been endlessly debated here.
Bottom line is FTDI know what they did was wrong and it would ultimately hurt their company, and now they have backed down.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mikeselectricstuff on October 25, 2014, 11:49:41 am
Why exactly it FTDI's problem if their drivers are used outside of their T&C's???
Because in the case of Windows Update, those T&Cs were not made clear to the user beforehand. Even on the FTDI website they were on a seperate page to the driver download page.

Because T&Cs can not override criminal law - in this case criminal damage and possibly the computer misuse act.
 
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 11:53:14 am
Why exactly it FTDI's problem if their drivers are used outside of their T&C's???
Because in the case of Windows Update, those T&Cs were not made clear to the user beforehand. Even on the FTDI website they were on a seperate page to the driver download page.

Because T&Cs can not override criminal law - in this case criminal damage and possibly the computer misuse act.

if FTDI are so concerned about fakes and misuse of its driver it begs the question as to why they are making their driver so available through windows update.......

If i was microsoft I'd refuse to "deliver" any more FTDI drivers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 25, 2014, 12:36:19 pm
ere is some code that will non-destructively test for clones.
https://mrcn.st/t/detect_ftdi_clone.py (https://mrcn.st/t/detect_ftdi_clone.py)

Forgive me, I'm not a python user.  I get the error:

ImportError: No module named ftdi1

I assume this means I don't have the python bindings for this.  How do I install them (I'm using Linux Mint)
Look for a package named libftdi or libftdi1, and possibly something with ftdi and python in the name. On Ubuntu it seems to be libftdi1 and python-ftdi.

I just managed to get ahold of a fake FT232RL and can confirm that the script above does indeed detect it. Specifically, it's this Deek-Robot USB to TTL (http://ru.aliexpress.com/item/FTDI-USB-TTL-FT232-Free-Delivery/1360409191.html) board that I found in a fairly reputable shop in Akihabara (Tokyo).

Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.
(https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake_800.jpg) (https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake.jpg)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 01:35:32 pm
Why exactly it FTDI's problem if their drivers are used outside of their T&C's???

It's been endlessly debated here.
Bottom line is FTDI know what they did was wrong and it would ultimately hurt their company, and now they have backed down.
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 25, 2014, 01:39:19 pm
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....
They indirectly did, on Twitter, then deleted their tweets (here's a screenshot (https://twitter.com/0xabad1dea/status/525849774268768256)). But the code speaks for itself - it's blatantly designed to brick non-FTDI parts and is otherwise completely useless, having been carefully engineered to exploit a minor implementation difference (that even differs for other genuine non-232RL FTDI chips) to brick clones. Whether FTDI did this deliberately or not is not up for debate - they did, period.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 01:48:03 pm
Check consumer protection laws in your country. I think most of the EU would have a good case for a return/refund.

Obviously if you bought from eBay there is no warranty, buti recently returned an 18 month old battery to Amazon because the NFC bit was fake.

If you have a case for returning a fake it's not a case of standard return times and warranty periods, it's fake and should never have been sold and the seller is at fault.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SeanB on October 25, 2014, 02:03:37 pm
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.
(https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake_800.jpg) (https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake.jpg)

Well, that means the 2 Freeduino boards I have do have real FTDI chips on them, they look like the ones on the left.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 25, 2014, 02:12:56 pm
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....

There not being any legitimate drivers for non-FTDI parts they always were bricks under Windows. They found a way to prevent some illegal use of their drivers and exploited it. If you want to carry on illegally using older versions of their drivers you have to jump through some hoops - cry me a river. 

I have some minor sympathy for the few people who found trying to use illegal drivers under windows meant they had to jump through some minor hoops to use the device with open drivers under linux.

Sparkfun with 30 products using FTDI parts have a reasonable response to the issue

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629 (https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629)

A. They don't think they have a problem
B. If it turns out they do it is their problem

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 02:19:47 pm
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....
They indirectly did, on Twitter, then deleted their tweets (here's a screenshot (https://twitter.com/0xabad1dea/status/525849774268768256)). But the code speaks for itself - it's blatantly designed to brick non-FTDI parts and is otherwise completely useless, having been carefully engineered to exploit a minor implementation difference (that even differs for other genuine non-232RL FTDI chips) to brick clones. Whether FTDI did this deliberately or not is not up for debate - they did, period.
Thanks for posting that - not exactly a smoking gun though.

If the bricking of the fake is a 'happy' accident of the way the driver works, then fair enough I say. But if the driver has been deliberately written to render the part permanently useless (by re-writing the EEPROM or perhaps some other irreversible method) then FTDI would be on shaky ground, however I think it would be fair for the driver to simply not work. After all this is what ink-jets do.

Has someone got the source code for the driver or has FTDI admitted to that also?

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 02:37:38 pm
I've thought about it some more (and read a chunk of the sparkfun article).

As a manufacturer of things with FTDI chips inside, I think that FTDI's behavior is acceptable.  Here goes:

If I buy FTDI parts, I expect them and want them to be genuine - I will most likely have paid good $ and have no desire to fit counterfeit IC's in my products.  If one of my products was to suddenly 'brick' due to a counterfeit part having made it's way inside, I would take it up with the supplier of that part and expect them to make me whole again (assuming it wasn't me buying a random reel from some dodgy corner of the internet).

If I was joe-public and bought some device which was suddenly rendered useless due to this issue, then I would take it up with the supplier, if they happen to be in China and can't be bothered replying to my emails then that would be my tough-shit.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 25, 2014, 02:43:04 pm
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....
They indirectly did, on Twitter, then deleted their tweets (here's a screenshot (https://twitter.com/0xabad1dea/status/525849774268768256)). But the code speaks for itself - it's blatantly designed to brick non-FTDI parts and is otherwise completely useless, having been carefully engineered to exploit a minor implementation difference (that even differs for other genuine non-232RL FTDI chips) to brick clones. Whether FTDI did this deliberately or not is not up for debate - they did, period.
Thanks for posting that - not exactly a smoking gun though.

On what planet is it not?

Quote

If the bricking of the fake is a 'happy' accident of the way the driver works, then fair enough I say. But if the driver has been deliberately written to render the part permanently useless (by re-writing the EEPROM or perhaps some other irreversible method) then FTDI would be on shaky ground, however I think it would be fair for the driver to simply not work. After all this is what ink-jets do.

Has someone got the source code for the driver or has FTDI admitted to that also?

Assuming that the decompilation is genuine (I have not personally verified that, but if it wasn't, I'm confident it would have been exposed by now), what other conceivable purpose could that chunk of code possibly have?

Keep in mind as well that people have used USB protocol analyzers (I've seen the posts on Twitter, but cannot be bothered to go find one right now) that have demonstrated the same sequence of actions that the decompilation shows. Again - what possible purpose is served by that sequence of operations apart from deliberately bricking devices that don't ignore the given operations (like genuine FTDI devices apparently do)?

This was not an accident. This was not a mistake. This was a deliberate, unethical act. That much is quite clear.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 02:45:07 pm


Sparkfun with 30 products using FTDI parts have a reasonable response to the issue

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629 (https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629)

A. They don't think they have a problem
B. If it turns out they do it is their problem

Yess, yess you finally got it IT'S THE PEOPLE BUYING THE PARTS AND PUTTING THEM INTO THEIR PRODUCTS that need to be targeted, worked with NOT end users who are non the wiser.

FTDI's logic was thus: we want to sell more chips and we don't like people faking our chips and using our driver. Oh nice we have found a vulnerability in the fake chip. What shall we do ?

2 scenarios:

1) as they have done, brick the fakes, and by doing so punish the end user of a product that may be well out of warranty for something they had no part in. They have no idea why they device broke and i guess FTDI hope they won't buy another one from the same supplier so hopefully get a genuine one next time so FTDI hope. The supplier of the product is non the wiser and may now be using genuine FTDI chips so FTDI shoot themselves in the foot. As no one knows what the problem is people keep buying fakes anawares although by this point the problem is probably found and corrected but potentially millions of unsuspecting and innocent users are punished and financially damaged for products they bought in good faith and are already in service.

2) FTDI stop their driver from working with a fake chip so the device can't be installed as it now has no driver support (and they could have quietly found a way to distinguish so historic devices carry on but new ones won't work). If the supplier of the equipment have not figured this out yet they get loads of returns and innocent customers get their money back and no hard feeling with a supplier that may also not be at fault and if that supplier is now using genuine chips they don't feel so bad and keep using the chips. The suppliers will then seek redress from their chips suppliers and maybe involve FTDI and the source of fakes is found and people prosecuted. Everyone comes out on top and counterfeiters are hopefully caught.

What FTDI did was selfish and stupid
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nsayer on October 25, 2014, 02:49:49 pm
I must have missed the posting (in the 40 odd pages here) were FTDI admit that they are deliberatly bricking non-FTDI parts....

There not being any legitimate drivers for non-FTDI parts they always were bricks under Windows. They found a way to prevent some illegal use of their drivers and exploited it. If you want to carry on illegally using older versions of their drivers you have to jump through some hoops - cry me a river. 

I have some minor sympathy for the few people who found trying to use illegal drivers under windows meant they had to jump through some minor hoops to use the device with open drivers under linux.

Sparkfun with 30 products using FTDI parts have a reasonable response to the issue

https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629 (https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1629)

A. They don't think they have a problem
B. If it turns out they do it is their problem

The part they left out is:

C. If they switch to CDC parts, they'll never have this problem ever.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 02:50:15 pm
Regarding: https://twitter.com/0xabad1dea/status/525849774268768256

FTDI have no right at all to brick chips, the chips could be used by linux under different drivers or someone could write a windows driver, this means no one is violating anything other than the manufacturer who badged the chip FTDI if indeed they did, it's just another USB to serial converter, this is not like buying a fake GHD hair straighter. I surely hope FTDI have to pay damages for this, to claim they have to stop counterfeiters in order to guarantee innovation, they have to be joking, if they think serial to USB converters are hi tech they really should get out of the business.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nixfu on October 25, 2014, 02:53:32 pm
What is really funny is I started buying FTDI stuff BECAUSE OF WHAT PROLIFIC did with their drivers screwing over customers a few years ago.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 03:01:43 pm
Regarding: https://twitter.com/0xabad1dea/status/525849774268768256

FTDI have no right at all to brick chips, the chips could be used by linux under different drivers or someone could write a windows driver, this means no one is violating anything other than the manufacturer who badged the chip FTDI if indeed they did, it's just another USB to serial converter, this is not like buying a fake GHD hair straighter. I surely hope FTDI have to pay damages for this, to claim they have to stop counterfeiters in order to guarantee innovation, they have to be joking, if they think serial to USB converters are hi tech they really should get out of the business.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: M@rcel on October 25, 2014, 03:04:25 pm
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.
(https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake_800.jpg) (https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake.jpg)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.

Compare with the foto in this link:
http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal (http://zeptobars.ru/en/read/FTDI-FT232RL-real-vs-fake-supereal)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 03:08:58 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???

Good name ? they don't have one of those now. If the driver simply refuses to work with the chip then that is fine. under linux there are non ftdi drivers or maybe i am wrong if there are then ftdi are not being hard done by, not their chip and not their driver. equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Then FTDI can use lawful and fare methods to track down counterfeiters and deal with the fake manufacturers and not cause damage to end users who have paid their money and the fake suppliers have had their share. What ftdi have done does very little to the suppliers of old fakes, it will only hit them in the future, in the mean time innocent end users have had their equipment redered useless for no good reason, the manufacturers still have their money for the fakes. The attitude has not been to resolve the situation but to be vindictive no matter who pays...... reminds me a of a certain referendum just had on FTDI land! It's the same old tune: "we have decided we have been wronged no matter what anyone thinks therefore fuck everyone else!"
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 25, 2014, 03:14:27 pm
The part they left out is:

C. If they switch to CDC parts, they'll never have this problem ever.

Yes, but, because they are not some no-name Chinese asshole they consider buying fake chips of unknown quality and origin to be a problem regardless of what interface they use. FTDI's driver actions mean in the future they are less likely to find fake FTDI chips in the supply chain. That combined with FTDI's excellent driver support and quality is reason to continue using them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 03:18:01 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???

Good name ? they don't have one of those now. If the driver simply refuses to work with the chip then that is fine. under linux there are non ftdi drivers or maybe i am wrong if there are then ftdi are not being hard done by, not their chip and not their driver. equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Then FTDI can use lawful and fare methods to track down counterfeiters and deal with the fake manufacturers and not cause damage to end users who have paid their money and the fake suppliers have had their share. What ftdi have done does very little to the suppliers of old fakes, it will only hit them in the future, in the mean time innocent end users have had their equipment redered useless for no good reason, the manufacturers still have their money for the fakes. The attitude has not been to resolve the situation but to be vindictive no matter who pays...... reminds me a of a certain referendum just had on FTDI land! It's the same old tune: "we have decided we have been wronged no matter what anyone thinks therefore fuck everyone else!"

Back in the real world - I can't see any manufacturer dropping FTDI because they took a stand on counterfeit parts. Also, I suspect that someone is working on an application to unbrick those 'PID=0x0000' parts.

As for FTDI not having a good name? Perhaps not amongst a small % of hackers/makers only, but I and those other manufacturers I know won't stop putting their parts in products as long as they offer the cost/benefit that they do.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 25, 2014, 03:19:18 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 03:25:48 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???

Good name ? they don't have one of those now. If the driver simply refuses to work with the chip then that is fine. under linux there are non ftdi drivers or maybe i am wrong if there are then ftdi are not being hard done by, not their chip and not their driver. equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Then FTDI can use lawful and fare methods to track down counterfeiters and deal with the fake manufacturers and not cause damage to end users who have paid their money and the fake suppliers have had their share. What ftdi have done does very little to the suppliers of old fakes, it will only hit them in the future, in the mean time innocent end users have had their equipment redered useless for no good reason, the manufacturers still have their money for the fakes. The attitude has not been to resolve the situation but to be vindictive no matter who pays...... reminds me a of a certain referendum just had on FTDI land! It's the same old tune: "we have decided we have been wronged no matter what anyone thinks therefore fuck everyone else!"

Back in the real world - I can't see any manufacturer dropping FTDI because they took a stand on counterfeit parts. Also, I suspect that someone is working on an application to unbrick those 'PID=0x0000' parts.

As for FTDI not having a good name? Perhaps not amongst a small % of hackers/makers only, but I and those other manufacturers I know won't stop putting their parts in products as long as they offer the cost/benefit that they do.

So all of this over a few hobbyists ? gee what a lot of hassle, really vindictive then, as I keep saying they have not harmed the seller of existing fakes onthey innocent users that have already made the fakers rich, not very clever move
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 03:29:49 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.
Hmmm. The user chose the product that contains the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement). Windows then looked up the correct driver to use and loaded it.

If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 03:30:30 pm
Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.

Yes exactly, no one explicity chose to use the driver and ftdi don't have to put it into windows update, they can just leave you to download the drivers THEN sellers of counterfits will have to either copy it and provide the driver themselves which breaks the law in a bigger way that saying "meh I never said to use that driver" and makes a better case for prosecution or they will be telling people to go to FTDI to get the driver so if they openly say the manufacturer is FTDI when it's not again more legal amunition for FTDI.

If i buy for example an arduino board I don't know what is on it and if it works and i don't care, it's up to the manufacturer to sort it out, why bring the fight to me when it's with manufacturers and their supply chains
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: welterde on October 25, 2014, 03:30:42 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

In what countries? As far as I know it's not illegal to possess counterfeit goods in most countries (just checked for Germany.. here neither buying nor possessing counterfeit goods is illegal).

And that's assuming that the parts had fake FTDI branding on them. Because seemingly you can buy them with non-FTDI branding as well (see some pages earlier in this thread iirc)..
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 03:32:34 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

Users did chose to use FTDI driver, it was forced on them by being shipped with Windows (practically a monopoly) and by the OS selecting it as the appropriate driver for that hardware.

FTDI's competitive advantage is having a driver in the stock Windows distribution but they abused it and people now look for alternatives. Yet to be seen if this will cause Microsoft to include a generic CDC driver and solve this USB/Serial driver issue once for all. Manufacturer can then be able to design chips for that standard and users will not have to install drivers.

As Simon said, USB/Serial is a commodity these days, just like USB mouse or keyboards.
Hmmm. The user chose the product that contains the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement). Windows then looked up the correct driver to use and loaded it.

If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...

the end customer does not chose the chip that is in a completed product PCB so why punish them
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: fcb on October 25, 2014, 03:33:22 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with a non-FTDI written driver, then that's fine and it's upto FTDI to pursue you under the counterfeit laws.

If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.

The only issue appears to be that the FTDI driver reprograms the PID and so it won't work without faffing about afterwards, not technically bricked it appears. That will be cleared up with the new device driver issue from FTDI.

Why shouldn't FTDI protect their IP and good name???

Good name ? they don't have one of those now. If the driver simply refuses to work with the chip then that is fine. under linux there are non ftdi drivers or maybe i am wrong if there are then ftdi are not being hard done by, not their chip and not their driver. equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Then FTDI can use lawful and fare methods to track down counterfeiters and deal with the fake manufacturers and not cause damage to end users who have paid their money and the fake suppliers have had their share. What ftdi have done does very little to the suppliers of old fakes, it will only hit them in the future, in the mean time innocent end users have had their equipment redered useless for no good reason, the manufacturers still have their money for the fakes. The attitude has not been to resolve the situation but to be vindictive no matter who pays...... reminds me a of a certain referendum just had on FTDI land! It's the same old tune: "we have decided we have been wronged no matter what anyone thinks therefore fuck everyone else!"

Back in the real world - I can't see any manufacturer dropping FTDI because they took a stand on counterfeit parts. Also, I suspect that someone is working on an application to unbrick those 'PID=0x0000' parts.

As for FTDI not having a good name? Perhaps not amongst a small % of hackers/makers only, but I and those other manufacturers I know won't stop putting their parts in products as long as they offer the cost/benefit that they do.

So all of this over a few hobbyists ? gee what a lot of hassle, really vindictive then, as I keep saying they have not harmed the seller of existing fakes onthey innocent users that have already made the fakers rich, not very clever move
No, I doubt that FTDI would have done this to attack hobbyists - law of unintended consequences - and if it makes people question the authenticity of the products they buy and reduces the risk of getting counterfeit part then great.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 25, 2014, 03:35:27 pm
equally someone could write a windows driver and the chip would work, no violation of ftdi's IP.

Of course they could, they could join the USB-IF and pay to get their own VID. They could submit their drivers, hardware, and money to Microsoft for WHQL certification they could submit their drivers, hardware, and money to USB-IF and get USB-IF certification. They could provide datasheets, technical support, driver kits, and stamp their own name on the parts and spend 15 years building a reputation for quality and reliability.

But screw that, FTDI can do and pay for all that shit, we will just make some crap that kinda works like an FTDI part and stamp FTDI on the front.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 03:37:31 pm

In what countries? As far as I know it's not illegal to possess counterfeit goods in most countries (just checked for Germany.. here neither buying nor possessing counterfeit goods is illegal).

And that's assuming that the parts had fake FTDI branding on them. Because seemingly you can buy them with non-FTDI branding as well (see some pages earlier in this thread iirc)..

exactly! if I were to buy a product with a fake chip and use it under linux FTDI have no claim at all, not their chip, not their driver. As you say plenty of chips have no marking and if this is about hobbyists and makers they are the ones more often using linux. So what is the big deal ?

Now if the FTDI logo is on the chip and it's trying to use their driver then FTDI can try and prosecute for that, let you know the chip is fake, ask you to contact them and tell them where you bought it and then take on the manufacturers and their suppliers. A handful of cases would set the market straight in the same way this action may and the end user has more chance of understanding why the device won't work and being able to get their money back.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 25, 2014, 03:48:31 pm
.. the fake-FTDI part, this then enumerated with the cloned FTDI VID/PID code (which belongs to FTDI under the USB-IF agreement).

I doubt that the USB org agreement allows FTDI to brick third party devices that have that VID. It just guarantees that the USB org will not grant the same VID to another party, nothing more, nothing less.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: amyk on October 25, 2014, 04:00:05 pm
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
Who says the fakers don't have laser engravers...? If you compare with the other link you posted, you'll see that the pin 1 indicator on the real one is bigger too; ignore the printing, that can be very easily changed. The dimple for pin 1, however, is likely to be a better distinguishing mark since it's put there by the packager's epoxy moulding.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 04:01:29 pm
If you use a counterfeit FTDI part with an FTDI driver, then I think it is legitimate for it not to work.
Wrong. FTDI provides their software to you. What you do with it is up to you. The only thing they can enforce is their copyright which allows them to set a price on the software and control distribution. They can't tell people how to use the software. It is like when you get or buy a book. Nobody can stop you from using the book to start your fireplace, use it as a door stop, etc.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 04:07:09 pm
If the user had chosen a product with a generic CDC implementation, then the FTDI driver wouldn't have been run up...
The problem with CDC is that the creators of that standard never defined a basic serial port  :palm: MORONS! :palm:  They did define a modem. Therefore on several OSses (IIRC Apple's OSX) a CDC serial device shows up as a modem. That is also why so many USB to serial adapters come with their own drivers.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 04:12:26 pm
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.
(https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake_800.jpg) (https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake.jpg)
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
No, the one on the right is definitely a functional equivalent. I have one sitting on my desk (bricked by FTDI's driver). The giveaway in this case is that the 'serial number' (?) starts with CN which happens to be the country ID for China. But that could be a coincidence. I wouldn't be surprised though that it turns out the functional equivalents come from a more modern and well equiped production line that the ones from FTDI. As I wrote before the functional equivalent is made on a more modern process.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 25, 2014, 04:21:13 pm
So I'm dumb and the clone detector tool that I linked before relied on a patched libftdi (which I hacked up when this saga started and then forgot about...)

So instead I rewrote it to use libusb and made it a lot more useful. Now it can:
https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_clone_tool.py

Tested on both real devices (where it refuses to do anything) and on clones (where all of the above works; I tested it against FTDI's driver too).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: marcan on October 25, 2014, 04:25:43 pm
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you: the chip with the laser-engraved markings on the right is the real chip. The chip with simple printed markings on the left is fake. When you view the high res image, it's visible more clearly.
No, sorry, my assessment is correct. I confirmed it with my own code and FTDI's driver. I didn't swap them around. I suspect both real chips and clones have used different marking methods. The consistent giveaway, at least between my chips and Zeptobars', is the pin 1 dimple.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 04:34:01 pm
So I'm dumb and the clone detector tool that I linked before relied on a patched libftdi (which I hacked up when this saga started and then forgot about...)

So instead I rewrote it to use libusb and made it a lot more useful. Now it can:
  • Tell you if you have a clone chip
  • Fix bricked clones (by undoing exactly what the FTDI driver did, restoring the PID to 6001 but also reverting the value at 0x3e - this might fix string data corruption if your strings area was full when the FTDI driver did its dirty work, or if user data was in use)
  • NEW: immunize clone chips against the evil driver by deliberately breaking the EEPROM checksum. This reverts all settings to defaults (and loses the serial number), but if those work for you, then FTDI's driver will not brick your device and will happily work with it. You can also revert this change.
https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_clone_tool.py

Tested on both real devices (where it refuses to do anything) and on clones (where all of the above works; I tested it against FTDI's driver too).

Oh, i just love that tool. And the CORRUPTME command name is just hilarious. It reminds me of that Nineteen Eighty-Four movie phrase: "I'm corrupt to the core". :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 25, 2014, 04:40:38 pm
The problem with CDC is that the creators of that standard never defined a basic serial port  :palm: MORONS! :palm:  They did define a modem. Therefore on several OSses (IIRC Apple's OSX) a CDC serial device shows up as a modem. That is also why so many USB to serial adapters come with their own drivers.

That's what I see on my OSX machine with LPC/CDC  /dev/tty.usbmodemNXP-71.

What's wrong with a modem model? It can still be mapped to a COM port on windows.

BTW, is the CDC driver on OSX supported by Apple? If so, that's nice of them. I don't recall installing it but I may be wrong.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 04:50:41 pm
I have used microcontroller based CDC serial port devices on OSX and they work out of the box (just like they do on Linux). No surprise there because OSX is Unix as well.
There is no functional problem but it's just hard to explain to noobs that a gadget is a serial port and not a modem. Some people will never get that and insist on something called a serial port.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 25, 2014, 05:12:59 pm
I have used microcontroller based CDC serial port devices on OSX and they work out of the box (just like they do on Linux). No surprise there because OSX is Unix as well.
There is no functional problem but it's just hard to explain to noobs that a gadget is a serial port and not a modem. Some people will never get that and insist on something called a serial port.

It's seems that the root deficiency is in Windows for not having an out of the box standard CDC driver and relying on a combative partner with a proprietary driver.

It's time for Microsoft to come with a generic USB/Serial driver. I wouldn't be surprised in FTDI pays Microsoft for staying in this monopolistic position.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: German_EE on October 25, 2014, 05:34:36 pm
For some of is this particular part of the thread is very confusing. Every time I see 'CDC' I always think of Control Data Corporation. The university I attended had a pair of CDC 7600 machines:

http://www.lamef.bordeaux.ensam.fr/~jlc/ASI/Historique/images/cdc7600-2.jpeg (http://www.lamef.bordeaux.ensam.fr/~jlc/ASI/Historique/images/cdc7600-2.jpeg)
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: oPossum on October 25, 2014, 05:34:54 pm
Windows does have a CDC ACM drivier - it has since at least XP. One of the problems with that protocol is that it doesn't support all the handshake lines. Another potential problem is that is uses a separate endpoint for data and handshake (FTDI uses the same endpoint). So a vendor supplied driver is required for a full featured USB to serial solution.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 05:40:28 pm
Windows does have a CDC ACM drivier - it has since at least XP. One of the problems with that protocol is that it doesn't support all the handshake lines. Another potential problem is that is uses a separate endpoint for data and handshake (FTDI uses the same endpoint). So a vendor supplied driver is required for a full featured USB to serial solution.

Yes sir! That's the right reason.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: mamalala on October 25, 2014, 05:42:53 pm
It's seems that the root deficiency is in Windows for not having an out of the box standard CDC driver and relying on a combative partner with a proprietary driver.

It's time for Microsoft to come with a generic USB/Serial driver. I wouldn't be surprised in FTDI pays Microsoft for staying in this monopolistic position.

They do, and have for a long time now. It's usbser.sys (or something like that). All one needs is a .inf file that lists the VID/PID of the thing attached, and then points to the usbser driver. Sure, it's rather silly to require that instead of going by the USB device's class (after all, that is what the USB descriptors are for), but still better than requiring a complete driver for such a simple thing.

Greetings,

Chris
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: SydB on October 25, 2014, 05:51:09 pm
Like many others, I have now disabled automatic driver updates.
Good - that should have been the case anyway. There have been numerous instances when newer drivers have caused problems.
Quote
As a consequence my computer is less secure and possibly less reliable than it could be
Don't be silly.
Quote
Supply chains are imperfect. No manufacturer can guarantee that every chip in every product is 100% genuine
Wrong. We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: idpromnut on October 25, 2014, 05:53:23 pm
Edit: photo of real vs. fake (click for high-res). I think the easiest way to tell them apart is that the real one has a larger pin 1 dimple centered between pins 1 and 2, while the fake one has a smaller dimple that is offset towards pin 1.
(https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake_800.jpg) (https://mrcn.st/t/ftdi_real_fake.jpg)

Well, that means the 2 Freeduino boards I have do have real FTDI chips on them, they look like the ones on the left.

EDIT:  :palm: Misread the image.  So yes, the parts I have are real parts that look like the chip in the image on the left (i.e. not engraved).
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 06:05:36 pm
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm: There is money to be made so somehow somewhere there is always someone who manages to slip in counterfeit items and make a profit.

@idpromnut: the one on the left is real. The fake chip has a better finishing than the original  :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rdl on October 25, 2014, 06:40:54 pm
In case anyone is confused by this, you do not have to turn off Windows Update in Windows 7 just to block device driver downloads. For some reason known only to Microsoft this setting is not found in the Windows Update settings. It's located in:

Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > Hardware tab > Device Installation Settings


My personal position is that you're better off not letting Windows update anything but itself, and even then do not let it do it automatically. If you're really concerned about things getting screwed up, only download security updates unless you have a specific problem.

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 06:43:58 pm
My personal position is that you're better off not letting Windows update anything but itself, and even then do not let it do it automatically. If you're really concerned about things getting screwed up, only download security updates unless you have a specific problem.

reminds me of someone who called me over to fix his computer because it had a virus, he was running no antivirus and had stopped windows from updating as he thought it made things worse. That was his business computer he totally screwed up with all of his records. :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 25, 2014, 06:49:25 pm
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm:

So you go into a shop with a counterfeit bill and find they have just installed a UV scanner which detects your counterfeit. They won't accept your bill and write "COUNTERFEIT" on it before giving it back so no one else will accept it either.

You then tweet to anyone that will listen that the bastards in this shop just BRICKED my bill. They illegally damaged my property. I am never going to shop there again. I want to start a class action law suit against this shop. It is not my fault I didn't know the bill was counterfeit. Maybe we could get together and make some better counterfeits that the shop can't detect. The shop always accepted my counterfeit bills before, they didn't ask for my permission before installing this new UV scanner, I didn't want them to it is completely unfair.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 07:02:22 pm
So you go into a shop with a counterfeit bill and find they have just installed a UV scanner which detects your counterfeit. They won't accept your bill and write "COUNTERFEIT" on it before giving it back so no one else will accept it either.

You then tweet to anyone that will listen that the bastards in this shop just BRICKED my bill. They illegally damaged my property. I am never going to shop there again. I want to start a class action law suit against this shop. It is not my fault I didn't know the bill was counterfeit. Maybe we could get together and make some better counterfeits that the shop can't detect. The shop always accepted my counterfeit bills before, they didn't ask for my permission before installing this new UV scanner, I didn't want them to it is completely unfair.

Quite different, fake money is fake money, these chips are functioning chips that just happen to hijack the FDTI driver, if they had their own driver they would not be deemed as fakes. It's a bit like I try to use a scottish paper money note in england and it gets refused because the idiot behind the counter has decided it's not legal tender.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: zapta on October 25, 2014, 07:04:20 pm
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm:

So you go into a shop with a counterfeit bill and find they have just installed a UV scanner which detects your counterfeit. They won't accept your bill and write "COUNTERFEIT" on it before giving it back so no one else will accept it either.

I see your point. Vigilantly justice is the way to go. If you tires don't have enough thread other citizens should slash them.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: nctnico on October 25, 2014, 07:08:49 pm
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm:
So you go into a shop with a counterfeit bill and find they have just installed a UV scanner which detects your counterfeit.
As usual in this thread you are missing the point completely and that is that there is always a chance you get counterfeit money and even pay with it. Statistically the chance you and me have used counterfeit money isn't zero. Or do you carry a UV scanner around to check all the bills you get from a shop? You know it's easy for a cashier to bring counterfeit money to the store and exchange it for real money and handing out the counterfeit money as change without anyone knowing.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 07:10:53 pm
We can and do because we use franchised distributors, source all components ourselves and outsource build-only to a trusted, reliable assembler. Every manufacturer could do the same (or in-house build) but if you want to save cost by outsourcing to China, then yes, forget it. It is cost saving and profit greed that allows counterfeiting.
In your naive world there would be no counterfeit money either  :palm:

So you go into a shop with a counterfeit bill and find they have just installed a UV scanner which detects your counterfeit. They won't accept your bill and write "COUNTERFEIT" on it before giving it back so no one else will accept it either.

You then tweet to anyone that will listen that the bastards in this shop just BRICKED my bill. They illegally damaged my property. I am never going to shop there again. I want to start a class action law suit against this shop. It is not my fault I didn't know the bill was counterfeit. Maybe we could get together and make some better counterfeits that the shop can't detect. The shop always accepted my counterfeit bills before, they didn't ask for my permission before installing this new UV scanner, I didn't want them to it is completely unfair.

The bills have a lot of visible and invisible (to human eye) security measures to help detecting a real from a fake one. FTDI never gave us a single way for us to detect a counterfeit chip before their driver break them. If we stick to your bill example, man, you just choose a pretty bad example. Why? Because i think almost 90% of the bill manufacturing cost is dedicated to security materials and processes. Can you say the same about FTDI chips manufacturing costs?
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 07:13:30 pm
FTDI are trying to protect and increase their revenue streams on a particular run of the mill low value part - man they must be in trouble or being very petty. I wouldn't touch the rest of their product range with any length barge pole.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 07:17:52 pm
FTDI are trying to protect and increase their revenue streams on a particular run of the mill low value part - man they must be in trouble or being very petty. I wouldn't touch the rest of their product range with any length barge pole.

I agree. I have right here more than a hundred FT232RL chips, all from my (no more)"trusted" local supplier, and they are all counterfeits. I pay them 9.34 USD dollars + taxes each one (im not in the first world as you can seeE) I'm so pissed off right now, im the one paying for them and at the same time (who would imagine?) being attacked from both sides: counterfeiters and FTDI!

Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 07:20:37 pm
Didn't realize they cost that much, if they are marked as FTDI or you biught them as FTDI branded then you have every ounce on your side to return the things for a refund. It's up to your supplier to make sure they source genuine parts. I generally start with small quantities and if there are no problems order in bigger batches. Yes there are a few suppliers i have stopped using.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 07:25:18 pm
Didn't realize they cost that much, if they are marked as FTDI or you biught them as FTDI branded then you have every ounce on your side to return the things for a refund. It's up to your supplier to make sure they source genuine parts. I generally start with small quantities and if there are no problems order in bigger batches. Yes there are a few suppliers i have stopped using.

They don't. But here i have only one official FTDI distributor (Arrow). I've called them in the past and they told me that they didn't have any in stock, and that the only way they could bring them was if i bought them an entire 2k piece REEL.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Rufus on October 25, 2014, 07:25:46 pm
As usual in this thread you are missing the point completely

Your point being that the solution to the problem of counterfeit anything is to never question them and so avoid getting an answer you didn't want to hear.
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: rdl on October 25, 2014, 07:28:03 pm
Yeah, that's why I offered that information. I'd read a few posts where it sounded like people had turned off Windows Update just to avoid getting bad drivers. It's not a good idea to turn of Windows Update completely, do keep a close eye on it though.

In case anyone is confused by this, you do not have to turn off Windows Update in Windows 7 just to block device driver downloads. For some reason known only to Microsoft this setting is not found in the Windows Update settings. It's located in:

Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > Hardware tab > Device Installation Settings

My personal position is that you're better off not letting Windows update anything but itself, and even then do not let it do it automatically. If you're really concerned about things getting screwed up, only download security updates unless you have a specific problem.

reminds me of someone who called me over to fix his computer because it had a virus, he was running no antivirus and had stopped windows from updating as he thought it made things worse. That was his business computer he totally screwed up with all of his records. :-DD
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: Simon on October 25, 2014, 07:29:39 pm
Didn't realize they cost that much, if they are marked as FTDI or you biught them as FTDI branded then you have every ounce on your side to return the things for a refund. It's up to your supplier to make sure they source genuine parts. I generally start with small quantities and if there are no problems order in bigger batches. Yes there are a few suppliers i have stopped using.

They don't. But here i have only one official FTDI distributor (Arrow). I've called them in the past and they told me that they didn't have any in stock, and that the only way they could bring them was if i bought them an entire 2k piece REEL.

Yea they are £4 or less in the UK and to think we paid a whole 16+ quid for one in a cable....... You have every right to throw them back at arrow, they should know better and at that price in that quantity they should come in gold foil packaging
Title: Re: FTDI driver kills fake FTDI FT232??
Post by: MicroBoy on October 25, 2014, 07:39:49 pm
Didn't realize they cost that much, if they are marked as FTDI or you biught them as FTDI branded then you have every ounce on your side to return the things for a refund. It's up to your supplier to make sure they source genuine parts. I generally start with small quantities and if there are no problems order in bigger batches. Yes there are a few suppliers i have stopped using.

They don't. But here i have only one official FTDI distributor (Arrow). I've called them in the past and they told me that they didn't have any in stock, and that the only way they could bring them was if i bought them an entire 2k piece REEL.

Yea they are £4 or less in the UK and to think we paid a whole 16+ quid for one in a cable....... You have every right to throw them back at arrow, they should know better and at that price in that quantity they should come in gold foil packaging

I think you didn't understand my previous posts. I didn't bought these conterfeits in Arrow. The told me (Arrow) that even if i bought the entire 2K REEL, the delay would be between 6 to 8 weeks. I bought them in another supplier, not an official FTDI distributor.

The other day Arrow sent me an email, telling me that they could fractionate the 2K REEL, but at a price of 12 USD + taxes each chip, and with a delay of 6 to 8 w