Super Micro investigation reveals no Chinese spy chips

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chips
Bloomberg article made accusations about Chinese spy chips.
Photo: Intel

As promised, Super Micro Computer, the manufacturer of technology accused by Bloomberg of containing Chinese spy chips, has carried out an investigation of its hardware. And it’s apparently clean.

The company hired outside investigators to resolve the claims leveled against it. On Tuesday, it told customers that there was no evidence of malicious hardware on its current or older motherboards.

According to Reuters, the investigation was carried out by the global firm Nardello & Co. Nardello & Co. offers a range of investigative services, including litigation and arbitration support, digital investigation, reputational due diligence, and more.

The firm carried out tests on samples of motherboards currently in production. It also performed tests on versions which were sold to Amazon and Apple, both companies named in the Bloomberg report. In addition, it looked at software and design files. Its conclusion? That it couldn’t find any unauthorized components or signals sent out.

Super Micro Computer is supposedly reviewing its legal options. The company’s stock tanked following the publication of the supposed spy chip hack story.

The Big Hack?

The alleged spy chip accusations is one of the weirdest news happenings in tech this year. Bloomberg Businessweek originally published its story, “The Big Hack,” at the start of October. The article made a number of sensational claims, which would have made this among the biggest stories of the year.

However, as soon as the article was published, both Amazon and Apple denied that there was any truth to it. British and U.S. intelligence agencies also backed up the two companies. Ultimately, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Bloomberg “need[s] to do that right thing and retract [the allegations].”

Bloomberg, for its part, has kept quiet for the most part — but apparently stands by its reporting. In a statement, the company said,  “Our reporters and editors thoroughly vet every story before publication, and this was no exception.”

The publication also published a story claiming a “major U.S. telecom” discovered compromised Super Micro equipment back in August. Since then, there have been no further follow-ups — which is highly unusual when it comes to breaking a big story.

Super Micro, like other parties involved here, has repeatedly said there is no truth to the accusations. However, it said it would carry out an investigation in order to clear its name.