Chinese Spies Infected Apple, Amazon Using Tiny Chips

У серверах Apple знайшли китайські шпигунські мікрочіпи

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

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to a written request for comment on Thursday.

"Public documents, including the company's own promotional materials, show that the servers have been used inside Department of Defense data centers to process drone and surveillance-camera footage, on Navy warships to transmit feeds of airborne missions, and inside government buildings to enable secure videoconferencing", Bloomberg reports.

In total, Bloomberg says, the hack - which United States officials have branded as "the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies", allowed the Chinese government to spy on nearly 30 American companies.

The purportedly compromised hardware was purchased from California-based Super Micro Computer, with Bloomberg claiming that the chips were developed by a specialized computer hardware attack unit in the People's Liberation Army, thus giving China unfettered backdoor access to data.

This discovery was reportedly forwarded to USA authorities as the same servers were being used by the Department of Defense, CIA, and the USA military.

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"On this, we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", the tech giant says. Bloomberg claims Amazon discovered them ahead of its 2015 acquisition of Elemental Systems and reported the chips to the Federal Bureau of Investigation before removing them all within a one-month period.

Both Amazon and Apple strongly refute Bloomberg's report.

"We are not aware of any customer dropping Super Micro as a supplier for this type of issue". One source explains that the company is the "Microsoft of the hardware world"-its motherboards are used in servers around the world". It was determined during an investigation, which took three years, that the chip "allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines", Bloomberg reports.

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.

The attack was reportedly discovered in 2015 by the U.S. intelligence services, as well as by Apple and Amazon as the companies purchased servers made by Super Micro Computer. Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain - investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners.

Bloomberg, however, states that six current and former national security officials have detailed discovering such chips and the investigation that followed.

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