Apple CEO urges Bloomberg to retract China spy chip story

Marco Green
October 23, 2018

Bloomberg's report, which was published earlier this month, claims Chinese spies managed to implant tiny microchips on Super Micro servers in order to get backdoor access to networks.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told online news website BuzzFeed on Friday that Bloomberg should retract the story. "They need to do the right thing and retract it".

A series of Bloomberg reports alleged that Chinese agents had succeeded in placing computer chips into devices used by roughly 30 companies and USA government agencies, including the aforementioned tech giants. San Jose, California-based Supermicro's motherboards were at the centre of the malware chip allegations.

Bloomberg Businessweek has stood by its original report, which alleged that hardware maker Supermicro hid chips on server motherboards created to enable malware to be installed on the computers. "Bloomberg has not produced a single affected motherboard".

Andy Jassy's denial of Bloomberg's claims in a tweet was also forthright.

Belina Tan, a spokeswoman for Bloomberg in Singapore, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The report said Apple in 2015 had found malicious chips on Super Micro motherboards and added that Amazon uncovered such chips the same year while examining servers made by Elemental Technologies, which Amazon eventually acquired.

Despite mounting pressure, Bloomberg is standing by its report, which it says is the result of more than a year of reporting, during which it conducted more than 100 interviews. The report alleged that more than two dozen USA companies were impacted by the supposed hardware breach, including Amazon and Apple. These designs are trade secrets protected by Supermicro. Federal authorities in the USA and United Kingdom also expressed skepticism about the report.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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