Apple CEO Tim Cook told BuzzFeed that, “There is no truth in [Bloomberg’s] story about Apple,” and called for Bloomberg to retract its story. Cook made the call for action after the company performed its own investigation.
Cook told BuzzFeed:
“We turned the company upside down,” Cook said. “Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There’s no truth to this.”
In early October, Bloomberg published a bombshell article uncovering an extraordinary hardware hacking effort by state-sponsored Chinese agents.
“The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” details successful efforts by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to implant tiny chips into the motherboards of servers made by Super Micro, to compromise those systems and give them access.
It’s an extensive piece of reporting, too complex to fully summarize here. To really understand all the details, you should read the original article.
Citing many sources both inside affected companies and the U.S. government, the article explains that the PLA infiltrated Super Micro or its suppliers to sneak tiny hardware chips—as small as the tip of a sharpened pencil—into server motherboards.
Super Micro is one of the world’s largest producers of such hardware, supplying hardware used by the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, NASA, Congress, and of many of the world’s largest companies. The attack ultimately reached almost 30 companies, Bloomberg claims.