China Infiltrated 30 US Companies Including Apple and Amazon with Hardware Hack

Jermaine Castillo
October 5, 2018

They were found in servers assembled by a Chinese company called Super Micro, and could've been subject to a secret USA government investigation that began in 2015. One source explains that the company is the "Microsoft of the hardware world"-its motherboards are used in servers around the world". "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources".

"As we shared with Bloomberg Businessweek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in Super Micro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems.‎ Additionally, we have not engaged in an investigation with the government".

The main motive of the hack was to gain access to secret corporate data on a long-term basis and not steal any consumer data.

Early this morning, Bloomberg published an exposé regarding security matters at data centers belonging to both Amazon and Apple. It said it has never found any malicious chips, has not been informed by any customer that such chips have been found, and has never been contacted by any government agencies on the matter.

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"Supermicro takes all security claims very seriously and makes continuous investments in the security capabilities of their products".

Elemental's services, made possible through the manufacturing deal with Supermicro, appears to have been an ideal target for Chinese state-sponsored attackers to conduct covert surveillance.

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Security experts who have worked for government agencies and large corporations told Reuters that they were surprised by the stark discrepancy between the claims in the Bloomberg article and the strongly worded denials from Apple and Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) Amazon Web Services.

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Similarly, in an emailed statement, Apple declared that it had "never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", writing, "We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg's story relating to Apple".

The Chinese government has also rejected the report and stated that Beijing was a "resolute defender of cybersecurity".

"We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed". A year later, Apple ended its relationship with Supermicro for what it described as unrelated reasons.

Supermicro, which did not reply to requests for comment from The Post, said in its statement to Bloomberg Businessweek, "We are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard".

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Apple, AWS, Super Micro, and China's Ministry for foreign affairs have all vehemently denied the report. The FBI declined to comment for the story.

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