Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

China planted chips in Apple and Amazon servers, report claims

Chinese spying microchips found in Apple, Amazon computers: report Report: Amazon, And Apple Among Nearly 30 Firms Hit By China Chip Attack
Kayla Schwartz | 04 October, 2018, 20:08

A Bloomberg report alleges that Chinese spy chips compromised data center hardware at Apple and Amazon.

But Apple was also unusually direct in its refutation of Bloomberg's report, which cited 17 sources inside the US government and the affected companies detailing the manipulation of Supermicro's motherboards while they were being manufactured in China.

Only a week ago, he further accused China of interfering in his country's midterm elections. A story by Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the USA is in the midst of a secret three-year investigation of the scheme, which it says was uncovered by none other than Amazon.

The U.S. and China are locked in a bitter and escalating trade war, in which hundreds of billions of U.S. and Chinese products are under tariff.

Bloomberg said a year-long investigation by reporters Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley had uncovered evidence of the wide-ranging attack, which gave Beijing access to 30 large companies and many federal agencies. American companies design and sell leading technology products, such as servers, laptop computers and smartphones, but they are built and assembled largely in China. The report says that the chips would connect to certain remote systems to receive instructions and could then do things like modify the running operating system to remove password validation, thereby opening a machine up to remote attackers. This microchip provided the hacker with a secret doorway into any network the server was connected to.

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 USA investigators and affected companies.

Cristiano Ronaldo left out of Portugal squad for Poland and Scotland games
He did not specify that the absence is related to the investigation, but he defended the character of his star player. Ronaldo said he was calm over "any and all investigations" as he had a "clear" conscience over the allegation.

The report claims the chips were inserted while the servers were being manufactured in factories in China.

The U.S. government on Wednesday warned that a hacking group widely known as cloudhopper, which Western cybersecurity firms have linked to the Chinese government, has launched attacks on technology service providers in a campaign to steal data from their clients. "We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement".

That just leaves Bloomberg, which claims the issue was first discovered by Apple in May, 2015 and quietly reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Apple - which tends to refrain from issuing direct responses to specific reports - has taken the unorthodox step of categorically denying Bloomberg's revelations. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.

"One official says investigators found that it eventually affected nearly 30 companies, including a major bank, government contractors, and the world's most valuable company, Apple", write Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley.

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