Apple tells Congress that China has not hacked its servers

The U.S. and Chinese flags side by side

The U.S. and Chinese flags side by side

Apple, Amazon, and SuperMicro have denied Bloomberg's claims that their servers were infiltrated by Chinese agents who inserted microchips into their equipment.

The company also noted that the story was based on 17 anonymous sources, with some allegations based on even fewer unnamed sources.

Apple's press release was equally strong.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a statement on the explosive claims made by Bloomberg Newsweek about Apple, Amazon, and other tech giants using compromised Supermicro servers with Chinese spy chips for their cloud services. Tech literacy in the US, particularly within our government, is in a pretty sorry state; it's not hard to imagine someone "with knowledge of the situation" overhearing a conversation about a malfunctioning chip, which is how both Apple and Amazon explained the story away, and misunderstanding it to mean willful surveillance by whatever political interest might have supplied it. But the fact that such crucial information is at so far of a remove from us that we have so little recourse to check what, precisely, is going on with it, and we are all uneducated enough about technology that a set of simple facts are so hard to parse, is uh, quite a place to be in. Bloomberg said the investigation was "top secret" and that it stood by the article.

Amazon responded that "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".

"We are aware of the media reports, but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS [Amazon Web Services] and Apple", the U.K.'s National Cyber Security Center says in a statement issued Friday.

A senior security engineer directly involved in Apple's internal investigation described it as "endoscopic", noting they had never seen a chip like the one described in the story, let alone found one.

The department of homeland security in the United States 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 said they have no reason to doubt them or believe otherwise.

According to Reuters, Apple's recently retired chief counsel Bruce Sewell said that after he had learned of Bloomberg's investigation previous year, he had been reassured by the FBI's then-general counsel James Baker there was no substance to the report.

"I got on the phone with him personally and said, 'Do you know anything about this?" "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'". "Nothing was ever found".

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