Apple sends letter to Congress about alleged China spy chip

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This isn't actually Apple's data center, but it's close.
The alleged incident would be a seismic security breach.
Photo: Pexels

There are plenty of stories published about Apple that I’m sure it would rather not floating around the internet. But when it is accused of having had its motherboards — along with those used by dozens of other companies — breached by Chinese spy chips, it springs into action.

That’s what Apple did over the weekend when it told Congress that there is absolutely no evidence that it has been the victim of a sophisticated attack on its supply chain. This is what had been alleged in a recent article by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

“Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found,” Apple wrote in its letter to Congress. The letter was signed by Apple’s Vice President for Information Security George Stathakopoulos.

Stathakopoulos said that it has never found any of the vulnerabilities mentioned in the article, or been contacted by the FBI as a result of such concerns. He also said that he would be available this week if it was necessary to brief Congressional staff.

Apple’s denial

Apple’s letter to Congress isn’t the first time it has denied the allegations put forward in the recent Bloomberg article. In a strongly worded denial, issued last week, Apple said that:

“Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. 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. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story relating to Apple.”

Amazon, another company named in the piece, has also said that the Bloomberg story is full of inaccuracies. These two companies have then been backed up by both British and U.S. intelligence, who say they have no reason to doubt the denials.

So what’s the truth? Reuters says that it has reached out to Bloomberg, but received no response just yet. A whole lot is going to hinge on how Bloomberg responds to this pushback against its reporting. Will it double down? Will it acknowledge alleged inaccuracies? This story is going to get a whole lot more interesting before it’s over.

Source: Reuters