Inside the Forensic Lab That Fights Crime and Counterfeits With DNA

What you're looking at is me, being blasted by a fog machine. It's not a prop for a rave or a haunted house; it's vapor laced with custom DNA particles that could prove I was at the scene of a crime. And it's just one way a cutting-edge security firm is using life's building blocks to detect counterfeits and bust… » 9/26/14 1:26pm 9/26/14 1:26pm

Switzerland Puts Secret Bacteria in Cheese to Catch Knockoffs

In parts of Europe, where cheese is taken seriously as a source of national pride, entire labs are devoted to spotting knockoff Emmental and Gruyere. Switzerland has what may be the most impressive strategy yet: secret cocktails of bacteria, sent only to licensed cheesemakers, that work as living biological tracers. » 8/28/14 3:46pm 8/28/14 3:46pm

Come Chat with America's Greatest Convicted Counterfeiter

This week, the Secret Service busted the counterfeit ring behind some $77 million in fake bills. Makes you think. How on Earth could anyone print that much paper? And how did they make the money so convincing? Arthur Williams, Jr. has a pretty good idea. » 8/14/14 2:40pm 8/14/14 2:40pm

The Rise and Fall of America's Greatest Convicted Counterfeiter

Art Williams Jr. says he never really knew how money worked until he went to prison three times. It's ironic because Art Williams is also one of the most infamous money counterfeiters in recent American history. And he almost got away with it. » 8/13/14 2:13pm 8/13/14 2:13pm

Your Breath Reveals a Hidden Image On These Anti-Counterfeiting Labels

The war on counterfeit products is fought using highly detailed printing, watermarks, and even holograms on packaging, but the latest weapon will also include your breath. Researchers at the University of Michigan and in South Korea have developed a thin film featuring invisible images and features only revealed when… » 8/06/14 5:00am 8/06/14 5:00am

Soon You Can Sleep in This Fake Bavarian Castle in the Middle of China

China loves to counterfeit, and architecture is no exception. So it was no surprise when a massive, massive German-style castle popped up in the seaside city of Dalian. It's exciting, however, that Starwood Hotels has announced that it will open a giant hotel inside of it. » 5/22/14 2:40pm 5/22/14 2:40pm

4 Totally Fake Currencies That Changed the Course of Real Wars

At the tail end of his time as Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, General David Petraeus commented that "money is my most important ammunition in this war." It was far from an original thought. In fact, you could argue that currency is the most important and least acknowledged wartime weapon. » 5/05/14 9:22am 5/05/14 9:22am

Science Finally Gives Us a Way to Authenticate Premium Chocolate

That fancy premium chocolate from Tanzania that you spent $10 on at Whole Foods last night might not be as fancy or premium as you think. Lower quality cacao is often mixed into even the best chocolate, which is precisely why scientists have now developed a method for authenticating the varietal purity and origin of… » 1/15/14 5:40pm 1/15/14 5:40pm

Watch the Master of Saddleback Leather Give a Lesson in Counterfeiting

If you're looking to get into the knockoff leather game, there could be pools of cold, hard cash in your future just waiting for you to go diving on in. All it takes is a little half-assery, a more-than-questionable moral compass, and the knowledge of where to actually cut those corners—which can be harder than it… » 1/13/14 4:00pm 1/13/14 4:00pm

These Wild Hidden Pictures Could Protect the Money of the Future

We'd all be printing money if it were easy, and that's why government folks try so hard to make it hard. This crazy visual effect could be the latest trick up their anti-counterfeiting sleeves. And man is it awesome to watch. » 7/31/13 10:21am 7/31/13 10:21am

An Idiot Counterfeiter Returned His Printer with a Sheet of Fake…

It's one of the oldest tricks in the book; if you can't earn money, why not make it? With your printer. Now that doesn't actually work. Making counterfeit cash is really hard. But that won't keep idiots from trying it, apparently. A Wisconsin man took it a step further though, by trying to return his copier/printer … » 3/10/13 7:10pm 3/10/13 7:10pm

Why Counterfeit Ketchup Is Exploding in New Jersey

In a warehouse in New Jersey, some messy, weird stuff went down. There was an explosion, but not just any explosion: a counterfeit ketchup explosion. No, nobody was trying to sabotage the illicit shipment, there's some science behind it. » 10/20/12 3:00pm 10/20/12 3:00pm

What Do Apple and Viagra Have in Common?

Apple and Viagra seem like two brands least likely to share a common bond, but in fact, both have employed the services of, as the New Yorker's Evan Osnos puts it, "the Seal Team Six of global manufacturing." » 9/01/11 6:40pm 9/01/11 6:40pm

China Shuts Down Those 22 Fake Apple Stores

After authorities from the Chinese city of Kunming discovered 22 retail shops illegally masquerading as Apple stores and Apple filed a complaint, all 22 of those shops made their Apple branding vanish. » 8/15/11 9:08am 8/15/11 9:08am

Microsoft Uses Forensic Tech To Catch Software Counterfeiters

Microsoft takes fighting software counterfeiting so seriously that it's looking at crime-scene forensic technology for inspiration. Apparently the software maker is using custom microscopes to match counterfeit discs to their creators—just like bullets to guns: » 7/22/10 10:00pm 7/22/10 10:00pm

Why You Don't Want to Counterfeit the Hideous New $100 Bill

This is the new $100 bill. It is revolting. But that's not the only reason you wouldn't want to try counterfeiting this malignantly redesigned slip of currency, the most counterfeited of all denominations (outside the US). » 4/21/10 9:20pm 4/21/10 9:20pm