Fake memory sticks/cards explained.
Counterfeit products aren’t just those that you would expect from an expensive fashion label. That Burberry scarf you bought for a tenner from the back Oldham Street in Manchester, is it really as good quality as the one in the Burberry shop? Probably not. But then again it probably won’t make much difference to you if it doesn’t wash very well. Buying a counterfeit Flash NAND device could mean losing all of your data, forever.
There is a ‘healthy’ industry of counterfeiting Flash NAND devices. To you and me that means fake memory stick and memory cards. For a long time, we have been familiar with counterfeit Compact Flash Sandisk memory cards. We would see quite a few of these each month a few years ago. We’ve had a couple of ‘fake’ USB memory sticks in over the last week that have been counterfeit devices too. In each case the processor chip had failed. It was not possible to recover data from either device.
In the case of the device listed as a “Transcend 4GB,” we noticed that on the Flash NAND chip it was listed as a “Sandisk” chip, with a generic controller. Alarm bells started ringing immediately when we saw this.
EBay and Amazon Market place fakes
Ebay is the number one place where you might end up buying a dodgy memory stick or memory card. Watch out, these bargains are more likely to fail than a genuine product and will be very difficult, or impossible, for a data recovery company to work with.
For further reading please see the “Fight Flash Fraud” blog.