• Apple Denies Chinese Microchip Hack in a Fiery Letter to Congress

    Date:9 October 2018 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:,

    In an extreme move, Apple sent a letter to congress on Monday denying that China surreptitiously implanted microprocessors in its devices as part of a clandestine eavesdropping campaign.

    Detailed in an explosive Bloomberg report last week, Apple, Amazon and several government contractors have denied allegations that their servers were infiltrated by tiny microprocessors no bigger than the tip of a pencil. The malware allegedly slipped into the assembly line at Super Micro Computer Inc., a contractor that works with prominent tech firms in China.

    The letter, sent to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation committee, insists that Apple isn’t the victim of a hardware hack. Rather, it asserts Bloomberg’s reporting was thinly-sourced and after a sweeping investigation into the claims, Apple found no evidence of foreign devices wedged into the production line.

    George Stathakopoulos, Apple’s Vice President for Information Security wrote in the letter originally obtained by Reuters:

    “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.”

    The claims are largely a reiteration of previous denials Apple and Amazon have already made, many of them boilerplate statements regarding security and transparency.

    With respect to the information systems we use, we purposely work with multiple vendors, and our infrastructure is very diverse, protected by multiple layers of security. We deploy both commercially available and Apple proprietary security tools, led by an experienced security team that is familiar with diverse threats, simple and sophisticated.

    While steadfastly denying a media report is common protocol for corporations fending off bad PR, Apple’s preemptive appeal to congress has caught some off guard:

    Stathakopoulos indicates that government agencies in the United States and United Kingdom have come to Apple’s defense, and that contrary to Bloomberg’s report, the FBI has never been in touch with company regarding the alleged hack. Similarly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it believes Apple’s side of the story.

    Source: The Verge

    Originally posted on Popular Mechanics

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