Apple and Amazon deny existence of Chinese spy chip

Inc annual cloud computing conference walk past the Amazon Web Services logo in Las Vegas

Inc annual cloud computing conference walk past the Amazon Web Services logo in Las Vegas

"As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue", Amazon said, in part.

Bloomberg Businessweek cited unidentified sources from intelligence agencies and business that Chinese spies had placed computer chips inside equipment used by about 30 companies and multiple US government agencies, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.

In unusually robust on the record statements, the two trillion dollar tech companies said they know nothing about Chinese spies planting rice grain-sized microchips in hardware that reached 30 major American companies.

The report said that dozens of companies may have used sabotaged servers in their data centers before the Chinese operation was detected.

Amazon's AWS said it has "found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications".

The full statement, which is available here, added that Apple always inspects its servers before they are put into production and if it found anything suspicious, it would have alerted the authorities.

"There are so many inaccuracies in this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count", the Seattle-based company said in its own statement.

Bloomberg reported that Amazon performed a "network-wide audit" after the company found the malicious chips in Super Micro hardware in its Beijing data center.

Apple and Amazon deny the reports.

In late spring of 2015, Elemental's staff boxed up several servers and sent them to Ontario, Canada, for the third-party security company to test, the person says.

Amazon said in a statement that "it's untrue that AWS knew about a supply chain compromise, an issue with malicious chips, or hardware modifications when acquiring Elemental", the United States video service on whose servers, the report says, Amazon found the microchips.

"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. Apple never had any contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other agency about such an incident. Elemental's products, along with that of a company called Supermicro, are used by everyone from the US Navy to the Central Intelligence Agency.

The exploit reportedly hit almost 30 American businesses, including Apple, "a major bank", and a host of government contractors.

Earlier this year, a Commerce Department investigation Trump ordered into Chinese trading practices found that China had hacked into US businesses for commercial gain. Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a written request for comment.

The reported manipulation of electronics supply chains to USA companies are certain to sharpen long-standing questions about the crucial but uneasy relationship between the world's two leading economies.

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