Earlier this month, Bloomberg Businessweek published a long report alleging that Chinese intelligence had managed to implant malicious chips on servers ultimately used by Apple, Amazon, and some other major companies and agencies. Apple was quick to denounce the report, and now company CEO Tim Cook is calling for the publication to retract its story.
Cook made the statement to BuzzFeed News, saying, “There is no truth in their story about Apple. They need to do that right thing and retract it.” He went on to say:
I personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with Bruce Sewell, who was then our general counsel. We were very clear with them that this did not happen, and answered all their questions. Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed, and each time we investigated we found nothing …
We turned the company upside down. Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There’s no truth to this.
The Bloomberg report, which was published on October 4, claims Chinese spies used very tiny chips implanted on server motherboards to create a doorway into company networks, those companies alleging including Apple. The report claims the chips were discovered in 2015 during testing by a third-party security company, that supposedly triggering a top secret investigation said to be ongoing.
Soon after, Apple released a statement saying that it has never discovered malicious chips on any of servers, that it hasn’t ever been contacted by any agency regarding such a scenario, and that it has no knowledge of any allegedly ongoing investigation by the FBI.
As well, Apple had said that it was contacted by Bloomberg reporters and editors multiple times over a 12-month period regarding the claims. Each time, the company said, it conducted internal probes into the claims, but never found anything substantiating them.
Apple isn’t the only company to dismiss the report — Amazon had something similar to say about the matter. In a statement yesterday, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats told CyberScoop that officials haven’t found any evidence to substantiate Bloomberg’s report. The UK’s National Cyber Security Center and the US’s Homeland Security have similarly expressed doubts.
SOURCE: Buzzfeed News