Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Chip Hack a Sign of Chinese Cyber Threats to US, Officials Say

Chinese spying microchips found in Apple, Amazon computers: report Report: Amazon, And Apple Among Nearly 30 Firms Hit By China Chip Attack
Scott Davis | 05 October, 2018, 08:40

The company explains that it conducted "rigorous internal investigations" each time it was contacted by the publication, and that it never found anything substantiating the claims.

This person spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss matters not approved for public release. Apple said in a statement that "we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of" the allegations by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Pence was expected to issue a range of criticisms at what the Trump administrations sees as China's increasingly aggressive behavior, including allegations by President Trump last week that the country is interfering in the United States midterm elections.

"We must hear directly from the companies potentially affected by this devastating security breach to get a better understanding of what happened", he said. China manufactures as much as 75 per cent of the world's smartphones and perhaps as much as 90 per cent of the world's personal computers, according to the report. A U.S. National Security Agency spokeswoman said she had no immediate comment.

"The report that China sought to infiltrate the computer chip supply chain, if true, is deeply disturbing and the latest example of the lengths that Beijing will go to in order to steal America's official and commercial secrets", Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement. Bloomberg also reported that the modified hardware was found in systems operated by Elemental Media, a company Amazon acquired in 2015, which the company also refutes.

Bloomberg reports that a San Jose, Calif. -based server supplier called Super Micro Computer Inc., may have exposed hundreds of customers, including Elemental, to an attack that placed tiny unknown chips into servers that could open networks and servers to outside control.

Shares of Chinese hardware companies fell sharply on Friday, led by computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd which lost more than a fifth of its value.




The company is American, but the motherboards were assembled mainly in China.

According to Bloomberg, Apple discovered the malicious chips three years ago in hardware supplied by motherboard specialist Super Micro.

"On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", Apple said in a statement.

Amazon said in a statement that "it's untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental", the USA video service on whose servers, the report says, Amazon found the microchips.

Super Micro told Bloomberg: "While we would cooperate with any government investigation, we are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard".

Amazon Web Services then sent Gizmodo an even stronger denial, insisting, "we have not engaged in an investigation with the government".

This article was originally published by The Washington Post.

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