Daily Management Review

Apple, Amazon & Many Other US Firms Hit By China Spy Attack: News Reports


Apple, Amazon & Many Other US Firms Hit By China Spy Attack: News Reports
According to new reports, the American companies that have seen their data stolen by Chinese spies include the likes of Apple and Amazon.
The news reports claimed that tiny chips placed on circuit boards of servers manufactured by a company called Super Micro Computer was used to steal the data from the companies. The reports claimed that the insertion of the chips took place during the manufacturing stage of the servers and they were activated after they were bought and began to be run by the users. 
The reports were termed as being “untrue” by Apple, Amazon and Super Micro.
The statement of Apple in response of the reports was very particular which said that the company had "no evidence" to corroborate the allegations made in the reports.
The first report was published by the news agency Bloomberg which had deputed two reporters who investigated the matter for more than a year and they had unearthed evidence of the activity which it claimed was wide ranging and claimed that Chinese authorities got access to data from 30 large companies and a number of federal agencies.
Security testing carried out by Amazon in 2015 was the first instance that the clue about the spying campaign had first emerged, the report said. This instance was before the company had started the use of servers made by US company Elemental and which were outsourced for manufacturing at the plants of Super Micro Computer in China. The report further claimed that at that time, a "top-secret probe" by US intelligence agencies was initiated which lasted for a long time was r\triggered off by the revelation.
The investigation found that those entities whose servers were hacked included those used in the Department of Defense data centres, on warships and those handling data gathered by CIA drones.
Reports also claimed that because 90% of the world's PCs are made in China, therefore the country has the position to carry out such an attack.  
The Bloomberg report said that attacks involved "developing a deep understanding of a product's design, manipulating components at the factory, and ensuring that the doctored devices made it through the global logistics chain to the desired location".
Super Micro Computer hardware were used by a number of American companies such as Apple, Amazon and major banks.
The Bloomberg report also claimed that business relationship with Super Micro was terminated by many US companies following them eliminating such servers.
The statement of Apple to the report read: "We've found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications."
Apple further said that the news agency had contacted it "multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident". "Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them."
It added: "We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg's story relating to Apple."