Chinese Spy Chip in US Servers?


Bloomberg report says major US companies found spy chips on servers manufactured in China.

A Bloomberg report [1] claims that Chinese spy chips were found on the hardware used by DoD (Department of Defense), CIA, and Navy warships.

According to Bloomberg, the chip, smaller than a grain of rice, was allegedly installed by manufacturing sub-contractors in China.

The report said that “the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines.”

The hardware in question is sold by Elemental Technologies (now owned by Amazon) and assembled by Supermicro.

Bloomberg reported that, during an audit before acquiring Elemental Technologies, Amazon found some troubling issues with the hardware and reported it to US authorities. The report also mentioned Apple and said the company’s security team found the additional chips on hardware that the company was using in its servers.

All the companies mentioned in the report, including Amazon, Apple, and Supermicro, have refuted the report.

“It’s untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental,” said Amazon in a statement to Bloomberg. Apple said they never “found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.” Supermicro strongly rejects the story, stating that they remain unaware of any such investigation.

Regardless of whether the story proves correct, the controversy generated by the Bloomberg report could add more heat to the trade war with China triggered by the Trump administration.


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