Apple, Amazon deny claims Chinese spies implanted backdoor chips in company hardware

Adjust Comment Print

A new report claims tiny chips attached to Chinese-made motherboards have been used to spy on American companies, including the likes of Apple and Amazon.

A CHINESE SUPPLY CHAIN ATTACK infiltrated servers used by almost 30 companies, including Apple, Amazon and USA government contractors, according to a blockbuster report from Bloomberg Businessweek.

Super Micro, Apple, and Amazon all disputed the report. Apple insiders, too, offered information regarding the hardware attack that Apple reportedly fell victim to.

The tech giant further stated that it was "accidental" and was not a "targeted attack against Apple".

"On this, we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ´hardware manipulations´ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", Apple told Bloomberg. One US official who said Thursday morning that the thrust of the article was true later expressed uncertainty about that conclusion.

Bloomberg's report is terrifying and suggests that Apple and Amazon, the United States' wealthiest two corporations, were subjects of an ongoing espionage operation perpetrated by China's People's Liberation Army.

Once Amazon discovered the problem, it alerted the US government, the report said.

'Venom' Review: Like A 2003 Superhero Movie Crashed Into 2018
Their relationship closer resembles Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in The Birdcage than any comparable platonic exchanges. I have to think that the studio is thinking the same thing and somewhere down the road, the characters will cross paths'.

These chips, which Bloomberg says have been the subject of an ongoing top-secret USA government investigation since in 2015, were used for gathering intellectual property and trade secrets from American companies and may have been introduced by a Chinese server company called Super Micro, which assembled machines for Elemental Technologies. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.

San Jose, California-based Super Micro strongly denied that it sold servers to customers contained malicious microchips in the motherboards of those systems.

Super Micro said in a statement that it "has never been contacted by any government agencies either domestic or foreign regarding the alleged claims".

A third-party security testing firm hired by Amazon found the chips on servers from a company called Elemental Technologies, which Amazon acquired to bolster its streaming video business, according to the report. After spotting tiny chips on the servers' motherboards that were not part of the original design, Amazon reportedly showed its findings to USA authorities, "sending a shudder through the intelligence community". It was determined during an investigation, which took three years, that the chip "allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines", Bloomberg reports.

Today's bombshell investigation by Bloomberg how tiny Chinese "spy chips" infiltrated major Silicon Valley companies' servers has been categorically denied by Apple already.

Amazon and Apple both denied there was any substance to Bloomberg's claims.

Representatives with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.