Bloomberg cited 17 unidentified sources from intelligence agencies and business to support claims 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.
Elemental Technologies had national security contracts and servers similar to the one that Amazon tested were in data centers belonging to the Department of Justice, on Navy warships, and in systems used to control Central Intelligence Agency drones, according to the Bloomberg report.
Several US officials contacted by The Washington Post said they were uncertain about the accuracy of the Bloomberg Businessweek report.
Apple Inc AAPL.O and Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O denied a Bloomberg Businessweek report on Thursday that said their systems had been infiltrated by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence agents. "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources".
Citing unnamed USA officials, Bloomberg said a unit of the People's Liberation Army were involved in the operation that placed the chips on equipment manufactured in China for US-based Super Micro Computer Inc.
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 surveillance microchips reportedly could have connected to outside computers and secretly downloaded software to bypass security protections, such as passwords or encryption keys, stored elsewhere on the affected servers, enabling remote computerized spying.
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We played them in pre-season, that worked well for us and not really well for them but I think the circumstances were different. I think the games against Brighton at home where we just had a lead of 1-0 and we still managed to win it.
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The company is American, but the motherboards were assembled mainly in China.
In what could be the most important United States national security story of the decade, a new report alleges that China has been installing tiny microchips, roughly the size of a grain of rice, on the motherboards of countless servers imported into the US. Apple removed all Super Micro servers from its data centers in 2016.
"On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", Apple said in a statement. It said it has never found any malicious chips, had not been informed that such chips were found by any customer, and never been contacted by government agencies on the matter.
Both Amazon and Apple have separately published statements today countering Bloomberg's report, claiming it is inaccurate and that neither company has found evidence of these alleged hardware breaches.
Amazon Web Services then sent Gizmodo an even stronger denial, insisting, "we have not engaged in an investigation with the government".
"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.