Super Micro Trojan: US and UK Back Apple and Amazon Denials

US government agrees with Apple and Amazon, says their servers were not compromised by China

So far, Apple and other tech giants have made multiple statements denying the claims of their servers being compromised by Chinese spy chips.

In a nutshell, the piece states unnamed sources saying that Chinese intelligence agents had managed to install chips on motherboards manufactured by a company called Supermicro, which were then used in servers operated by companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Apple and even in systems utilized by the US Department of Defense and the CIA.

A detailed analysis of the Bloomberg report on technology site The Register noted both Apple and Amazon "would want to keep any highly confidential information and contacts with intelligence services as quiet as possible".

Apple and Amazon both denied the claims. The statement adds that DHS has no reason "at this time" not to believe the statements from companies like Apple, Amazon and Supermicro denying the existence of the tiny spy chips. "Nothing was ever found", he wrote in the letter provided to Reuters.

Apple and Amazon, two companies identified as victims of the hack, refuted Bloomberg's claims in statements on their websites.

In their statement, the agency wrote, "The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise".

The report claimed that in addition to Apple and Amazon, Super Micro manufactured equipment for the USA defence department's data centres and other federal government functions - some operated by Apple and Amazon Web Services.

Bloomberg said on Friday it stood by its story, which was based on 17 anonymous sources. Tech literacy in the USA, particularly within our government, is in a pretty sorry state; it's not hard to imagine someone "with knowledge of the situation" overhearing a conversation about a malfunctioning chip, which is how both Apple and Amazon explained the story away, and misunderstanding it to mean willful surveillance by whatever political interest might have supplied it. The publication has a reputation for rigor, and lest it get some fact wrong and needlessly tank a whole industry, it generally errs on the side of not going to bat on neggy business stories.

While the Bloomberg report is short on technical details, many security experts say that whether or not this attack occurred, or occurred as alleged, it appears at least to have been technically feasible. This shows just how series the accusations made by Bloomberg in their report are.

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