Apple Tells US Congress It Found No Signs of Chip Hack

Apple and Amazon Deny Chinese Spy Hack Rumors

Apple and Amazon Deny Chinese Spy Hack Rumors

Apple's press release was equally strong. Those companies denied any knowledge the equipment had been altered.

In a letter to the chairmen and ranking Democrats on the House and Senate Commerce committees, the Cupertino-based company on Monday disputed a Bloomberg report that Chinese spies used a microchip to infiltrate American computer networks.

The Department of Homeland Security said this weekend it had "no reason to doubt" denials from Apple and Amazon of a report that Chinese spies placed surveillance chips in their server hardware. "At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in Supermicro motherboards", the company wrote.

When the story broke last week, though, the U.S. intelligence agencies were quiet, but the Department of Homeland Security stepped in over the weekend to say that although the agency is aware of Bloomberg's report, it has "no reason to doubt" the statements made by the two companies.

"We tried to figure out if there was anything, anything, that transpired that's even remotely close to this", an unnamed senior Apple security executive told Buzzfeed News. "Apple never had any contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other agency about such an incident".

The department of homeland security in the U.S. said it was "aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise" which alleged that dozens of firms had been compromised by the secret spy chip inserted during the manufacturing process.

DHS is backing them up.

Bloomberg News cited unidentified US officials as saying malicious chips were inserted into equipment supplied by Super Micro Computer Inc.to American companies and government agencies.

"I got on the phone with him personally and said, 'Do you know anything about this?", Sewell told Reuters. "He said, 'I've never heard of this, but give me 24 hours to make sure.' He called me back 24 hours later and said 'Nobody here knows what this story is about'". As the Register wrote, Apple and Amazon's denials were unusually firm, and it's possible that government sources overplayed the threat-though the site also found it "inconceivable that [Bloomberg] would publish a story this huge that wasn't watertight".

All parties involved went to lengths to explain that consumer information is not so much what was being targeted - honestly, when they can probably access it all for cheap from any one of the thousands of apps Facebook gave it up to across the years of its existence, what would be the point - but the fact these companies regularly deal with and handle information for the government made it a significant concern. But it remains unclear whether this was a photograph of an actual board or a digital recreation.

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