Amazon and Apple denied a Bloomberg report that alleged the infiltration of tiny malicious chip in their hardware systems planted by the Chinese intelligence. In the Businessweek report released on Thursday, Bloomberg cited seventeen unnamed individual sources including government official and internal company intelligence who said that Chinese spies have manipulated the chips placed in data servers which are used by several companies and US government agencies.
The report read that these malicious chips were planted by a unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army through infiltrating the supply chain of computer motherboard maker Super Micro Computer. The story further reported that these spy operations by China are intended to gain access of valuable commercial secrets and slip in the internal government network stealthily.
It was heard that China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not give any response to the allegations.
In a strong denial to Bloomberg report, Amazon Web Services stated that the company has never found any issues relating to manipulation in computer hardware or malicious chips in the Super Micro manufactured motherboards in any Elemental server or Amazon systems. However, Bloomberg reported that Amazon has earlier unraveled the malicious chips in servers manufactured by Portland’s Elemental Technologies which was eventually acquired by Amazon.com in 2015.
Apple Inc. also refuted every aspect of the Bloomberg’s report saying Apple has never come across any malicious chips, manipulation in hardware or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.
San Jose, California-based Super Micro Computer firmly stated the company has never found any malicious chips and has never sold any server that contained malicious microchips in the motherboard of the system. It also confirmed that the company has not been contacted by any government agency in this regard.
Notwithstanding the company’s clarification, Super Micro Computer (OTCMKTS: SMCI) tumbled as much as 41.12% to USD$12.60 as at 4 October 2018.
The Bloomberg report has come amid growing concerns relating to foreign spies’ infiltration into the US government and other Western companies through hacking the supply chain mechanism of computer hardware makers. Specifically, China is suspected for getting involved in the malicious activities as most of the tech firms outsource their manufacturing from China.
Further, the US government on Wednesday warned that a hacking group commonly known as ‘cloudhopper’, which is suspected to have connection with Chinese government, has launched hacking attacks on Western technology services companies.
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