Apple Condemns Reports of Chinese Spy Chips Hacking Its Servers

Apple Condemns Reports of Chinese Spy Chips Hacking Its Servers”

The chips, which have been the subject of a top secret United States government investigation, according to the report, were used for gathering intellectual property and trade secrets from US companies, and may have been introduced by a Chinese server company called Super Micro that assembled machines used in the centers.

No consumer data was reportedly compromised.

The chips were reportedly built to be as inconspicuous as possible and to mimic signal conditioning couplers.

Not long after the report hit the internet, both Apple and Amazon vehemently denied the report's findings.

The report of Chinese hacking chips being systematically added to servers produced in China comes after Donald Trump's administration has placed tariffs on technology components being imported from China. These motherboards have been used in servers by companies like Amazon and Apple as well by at least 28 other U.S. companies and organisations.

"(In the) ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines.

Bloomberg published a series of statements in response to its story - with each company distancing itself from the allegations.

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The attack by Chinese spies reached nearly 30 US companies by compromising America's technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with intelligence and corporate sources.

Amazon subsidiary Amazon Web Services, which provides on-demand cloud computing platforms, was described in the Bloomberg story as having known about the malicious chips and working with the FBI to investigate the matter. In a statement to CNBC, Apple said it found a single infected driver on one Super Micro server in a lab, calling it a one-time event.

Both Apple and Amazon discovered the surveillance chips in 2015 and took steps to replace the affected servers, according to the report, which described close cooperation between US investigators and affected companies.

For its part, Supermicro also said it was unaware of any investigation into its products and said it had not been contacted by "any government agency".

However, Bloomberg says the denials are in direct contrast to the testimony of six current and former national security officials, as well as confirmation by 17 anonymous sources which said the nature of the Supermicro compromise was accurate. It was this incident which may have led to the severed business relationship back in 2016, rather than the discovery of malicious chips or a widespread supply chain attack.

Update 15.02 BST: At the time of writing, five hours after Bloomberg's investigation was released, Supermicro's share price is down 30.42 percent to $14.89.

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