Bloomberg urged to retract chip story

Marco Green
October 21, 2018

Earlier this month, Bloomberg published a bombshell report claiming that agents from a Chinese intelligence organization successfully planted malicious hardware on Supermicro servers that eventually were put into use by companies like Apple and Amazon.

Apple gave Bloomberg a statement denying it, though the report says, "The companies' denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who-in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration-detailed the discovery of the chips and the government's investigation". 'They need to do that right thing and retract it.' Bloomberg, meanwhile, does not appear intent on doing any such thing.

Cook says he has been in the mix with the original report from the publication right from the start, saying that he spoke to the reporters on the story, along with Bruce Sewell, Apple's General Counsel at the time.

In response to Cook's statement, Bloomberg said, "We are confident in this report, which took us more than a year. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them".

"We turned the company upside down", Cook said.

"Email searches, data centre records, financial records, shipment records". Apple and Amazon have said they have no knowledge of ever finding or removing servers that contained the kind of spy chips Bloomberg alleged were found in the companies' networks.

Also, as reporter Nicole Perlroth noted, one of the reporters on the Bloomberg story - Michael Riley - had also done a story back in 2014 making bold claims that the NSA had exploited the Heartbleed bug, and multiple other reports ripped that story to shreds, with multiple people denying it and no one else confirming it.

Since the report was published, a series of statements from government officials and information security professionals - including some named in the stories - have cast doubt about the report's main claims. 'There is no truth in their story about Apple, ' Cook said. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ) said they completely supported Apple and Amazon that no such attack occurred. Though there are often inaccurate rumors and other stories published about Apple, the company rarely asks for a retraction.

The report has also drawn criticism from United States intel chiefs.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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