Amazon refutes report on Portland's Elemental Technologies server hack

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Bloomberg published an article on Thursday 4 October claiming that an attack by Chinese spies invaded 30 USA companies, including Apple and Amazon.

The chips provided a secret doorway into U.S. networks including Central Intelligence Agency drone missions, Pentagon data and United States navy warship command centres, according to an investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek.

According to the Bloomberg report, the microchips, which were the size of a grain of rice, provided China with a way to remotely access the computers.

The Bloomberg report was based on reports from 17 unnamed people, including three "Apple insiders", six current and former USA national security officials, two people inside Amazon Web Services, and six unidentified sources. One US official who said Thursday morning that the thrust of the article was true later expressed uncertainty about that conclusion.

Stephen Innes, APAC head of trading of online currency broOanda said the claims made in the Bloomberg story would further complicate relations between the two nations, especially in the wake of recent comments by US President Donald Trump that China is meddling in the US midterm elections. "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources".

A new report claims that Chinese intelligence added microchips into computers produced in that country. These servers were assembled for Elemental by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company (commonly known as Supermicro) that's also one of the world's biggest suppliers of server motherboards, the fiberglass-mounted clusters of chips and capacitors that act as the neurons of data centers large and small. China has responded with counter-tariffs on American products with particular political resonance, including agricultural goods.

According to Bloomberg, Apple discovered the malicious chips three years ago in hardware supplied by motherboard specialist Super Micro.

Similarly, in an emailed statement, Apple declared that it had "never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", writing, "We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg's story relating to Apple".

The Chinese government has denied allegations of state-sponsored hacking of US companies.

The White House national security adviser said Chinese cyber attacks on the US validate the Trump administration's emphasis on offensive cyber operations of its own, after Bloomberg News reported that Beijing had hacked American computer networks using a microchip built by its spies.

As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems.‎
. "Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government".

"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", Supermicro said in a statement.

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