Super Micro Shares Drop 41% After Report Alleging Chinese Hacking

Super Micro Shares Drop 41% After Report Alleging Chinese Hacking

The chips, which Bloomberg said have been the subject of a top secret US government investigation starting in 2015, were used for gathering intellectual property and trade secrets from American companies and may have been introduced by a Chinese server company called Super Micro that assembled machines used in the centers.

U.S. officials long have anxious about the potential for altered microchips or other components to be secretly inserted into products and shipped to the United States and elsewhere, opening doors to long-term spying on computer users and their information networks.

The servers had been compromised during manufacturing and the chips activated once they were up and running, it said.

Amazon, Apple, and Supermicro strongly disputed the findings. The report states that US investigators found that the tiny microchip was inserted during the manufacturing process by the People's Liberation Army.

Citing three internal sources, Bloomberg said Apple also discovered the malicious chips in motherboards supplied by Supermicro in 2015. The company first discovered the chips in Supermicro servers in May 2015 and informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation about it. Apple planned on using these servers from Supermicro for its iCloud services. "Apple never had any contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other agency about such an incident", the company said in a statement provided to Bloomberg. "While we would cooperate with any government investigation, we are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic, nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard".

On Thursday, Bloomberg published a blockbuster story alleging that Chinese spies were able to plant tiny microchips in data servers bought by American tech giants including Amazon and Apple.

Apple denied it had ever found malicious chips.

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As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections.

And Supermicro wasn't just supplying boards to Elemental; it was manufacturing for hundreds of other customers. Supermicro itself is not implicated and disputes the Bloomberg report. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs.

If you're two of the world's most popular and profitable companies - or, say, the United States government - a major intelligence attack by a foreign power is news worth denying, vehemently.

Apple said that it takes the allegations seriously and that there was no claim of customer data being affected.

Supermicro for its part has also issued a statement refuting the claims in the report.

The report claims that six current and former national security officials let slip the details on the investigation and its implications. It even confirmed this information with three Apple insiders.

Bloomberg said its report was based on confirmations of the hack by 17 unnamed people.

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