Apple and Amazon deny claims that their systems contained spy chips inserted by Chinese intelligence

Thursday, October 4, 2018
By Paul Martin

Apple and Amazon denied claims their products contained Chinese spy chips
A Bloomberg report found that a Chinese motherboard firm, Super Micro, had introduced the miniature chips onto products that ended up in US servers
This enabled spies to create a ‘stealth doorway’ into computer equipment
Apple hit back, saying it ‘has never found’ any issues with modified hardware
Amazon Web Services also denied any modified hardware in SuperMicro items

ANNIE PALMER
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 October 2018

Data center hardware used by Apple, Amazon and dozens of other US companies may have been fitted with tiny microchips placed there by Chinese spies, an explosive new report claims.

The chips, which were ‘not much bigger than a grain of rice,’ gave China unprecedented backdoor access to computers and data, according to Bloomberg.

Apple, Amazon and Super Micro, the Chinese motherboard manufacturer believed to have introduced the chips, have all denied the report.

An Apple spokesman strongly denied the report in a statement to CNBC, saying: ‘We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg’s reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed.

‘Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs.

‘That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple,’ the firm added.

Similarly, Amazon Web Services, which oversees the data center equipment believed to have been targeted by the attack, flatly denied the report.

‘As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems,’ the firm told CNBC.

The firm also denied that it had knowledge of any hardware modifications.

‘It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental,’ Amazon told Bloomberg.

‘It’s also untrue that AWS knew about servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centers based in China, or that AWS worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware.

‘We’ve re-reviewed our records relating to the Elemental acquisition for any issues related to SuperMicro, including re-examining a third-party security audit that we conducted in 2015 as part of our due diligence prior to the acquisition.

‘We’ve found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications,’ the firm added.

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