Windows Update Drivers Bricks Counterfeit FTDI Chips

ftdi

A recent driver update delivered via Windows Update bricks the fake chips, rendering them inoperable with any computer. The FTDI FT232 is a popular chip that converts USB to a serial port and it is known for hundreds of clones available in the market which does the same function.

The new driver for these chips from FTDI, delivered through a recent Windows update, reprograms the USB PID to 0 for the fake chips, which essentially makes it unusable from any OS.

Because the FTDI USB to UART chip is so incredibly common, the market is flooded with clones and counterfeits. it’s very hard to tell the difference between the real and fake versions by looking at the package, but a look at the silicon reveals vast differences. The new driver for the FT232 exploits these differences, reprogramming it so it won’t work with existing drivers. It’s a bold strategy to cut down on silicon counterfeiters on the part of FTDI.

The only workaround is to download the FT232 config tool from the FTDI website, change the PID of the fake chip, and never using the new driver on a modern Windows system.

Source: Ars Technica

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