US Homeland Security statement plays down Bloomberg spy chips claim
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. In a nutshell, the piece states unnamed sources saying that Chinese intelligence agents had managed to install chips on motherboards manufactured by a company called Supermicro, which were then used in servers operated by companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Apple and even in systems utilized by the US Department of Defense and the CIA.
Bloomberg has stuck by its report, insisting on its veracity. However, Apple, Supermicro, and AWS have denied the allegations, with Apple publishing an unambiguous statement that completely rejects the notion of malicious chips being found in any servers. Now the press secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security has offered a rather terser statement in regard to the subject:
The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story.
Somewhat ironically, the Bloomberg article finishes with a disclaimer that states how the company itself has been a customer of Supermicro and did not find any miniscule spy chips in hardware used by the NYC-based media firm. However, regardless of the claims and denials, at least the article has highlighted the increasing roles that cyberwarfare and cyber espionage have taken in regard to national security.
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