US tech giants including Amazon and Apple have denied reports regarding a Chinese hack on their hardware systems. This comes after an investigation that was conducted by Bloomberg claimed that malicious computer chips were placed by foreign agents inside their equipment.
Bloomberg said that 17 anonymous sources across intelligence agencies and company insiders in the United States stipulated that Chinese intelligence officials had infiltrated approximately 30 businesses in the US to hack their way into internal networks of the companies.
In the statements that were published by Bloomberg, Amazon said that the report was not true. It also said that it had “found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications.”
On the other hand, the statement of Apple revealed a number of internal investigations that were based on the enquiries of Bloomberg after which “each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them.”
Apple stated: “We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story relating to Apple,” it added. “Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.”
Bloomberg’s investigation by alleged employees at a computer chip company that is called Supermicro was compromised by an infiltration attempt from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The hack sought to have access to government networks and commercial secrets.
The reports were also denied by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Supermicro, the former even emphasised a pledge that China had undertaken at the United Nations way back in 2011 which would stip it from hacking products and technology in various supply chain networks.
Apple did not answer to requests for comment. However, a spokesperson for Amazon stated: “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.”
Nick Boles, a former Tory minister, weighed in on the reports to ask whether the United Kingdom would continue to allow the involvement of Chinese in building its infrastructure.