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.

Amazon and Super Micro also want retraction of spy chip story

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Tim Cook
Tim Cook previously asked Bloomberg to retract story.
Photo: Apple

The CEO of Amazon Web Services and the CEO of Super Micro have joined Apple CEO Tim Cook is asking Bloomberg to retract its recent spy chip story.

All three companies were named in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article claiming that Chinese spy chips had been embedded into hardware supplied by Super Micro. Since the story first broke, Super Micro lost more than half its value in a single day. Unsurprisingly, it’s not happy about it. And clearly neither is Amazon.

Super Micro will investigate its hardware after spy chip allegations

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computer chip
Super Micro is accused of manufacturing hardware containing Chinese spy chips.
Photo: JÉSHOOTS/Pexels

Super Micro Computer, the manufacturer of technology accused by Bloomberg of containing Chinese spy chips, has said that it will carry out a review of its own hardware.

This isn’t any kind of admission on its part, however. In a letter to customers, the firm noted how, “Despite the lack of any proof that a malicious hardware chip exists, we are undertaking a complicated and time-consuming review to further address the article.”

‘Highly plausible’ Apple servers could be infected with spy chips, says former Apple hardware engineer

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Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky
Instrumental founder and CEO Anna Katrina Shedletsky, who is using her experience as an Apple product design engineer to bring AI to manufacturing.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Despite Apple’s denials, it’s “highly plausible” that secret spy chips could have been planted on the company’s servers, said a former Apple hardware engineer.

Anna-Katrina Shedletsky, who spent nearly six years at Apple helping build several generations of iPod, iPhone and Apple Watch, said spy chips could have been slipped into the design of servers used for Apple’s iCloud services, as alleged in a Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“With my knowledge of hardware design, it’s entirely plausible to me,” she said. “It’s very highly plausible to me, and that’s scary if you think about it.”

Apple denies its server hardware was infected by Chinese spy chips [Updated]

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This isn't actually Apple's data center, but it's close.
Did the chips really make it into Apple's data centers?
Photo: Pexels

Update: Apple and Amazon both issued lengthy statements Thursday concerning the Chinese spy chip allegations. We updated this post to include those statements.

Apple denies that Chinese spy chips infiltrated its iCloud server hardware after claims that motherboards used by Apple, Amazon and dozens of other tech companies contained microchips used for surveillance purposes.

Cupertino insists the story is “wrong and misinformed.” Apple also says Chinese spying had nothing to do with the company’s decision to cut ties with a supplier.