ibusinesslines.com October 21, 2018

It's not in anyone's interest to admit whether China hacked us

09 October 2018, 04:28 | Kelvin Horton

The U.S. and Chinese flags side by side

The U.S. and Chinese flags side by side

"Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", the company says, noting that it has never been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other US government agency about the incident that is alleged in the Bloomberg report.

Bloomberg cited 17 anonymous sources who confirmed Apple was compromised.

An article published by Bloomberg Businessweek this week, called "The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate US Companies", has created something of a ruckus in the cybersecurity sector. Tech literacy in the USA, 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.

"We tried to figure out if there was anything, anything, that transpired that's even remotely close to this", a senior Apple security executive told BuzzFeed News. "Apple never had any contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other agency about such an incident". As a result, they're warning organizations to ensure they have the right defenses in place, as Apple says it does.

"We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS and Apple", said Britain's National Cyber Security Centre.

Bloomberg News cited unidentified USA officials as saying malicious chips were inserted into equipment supplied by Super Micro Computer Inc.to American companies and government agencies.

"I got on the phone with him personally and said, 'Do you know anything about this?'", Sewell said of his conversation with Baker. "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'".

Apple has also supplied a letter to US Congress at this point, stating that no evidence was found to support claims of tampered motherboards. One notable example of which occurred in 2013, when following revelations made by Edward Snowden the company insisted that it did not provide the USA government "with direct access to [its] servers". A DHS denial certainly adds another twist to this story, though it remains to be seen whether under all the smoke, there was an actual fire.

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