Apple denies claim China slipped spy chips into its iCloud server hardware [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 4
A Bloomberg report claims Apple, Amazon, and almost 30 other companies were the subject of hacking by Chinese spies embedding chips in hardware for surveillance purposes, a story that Apple has now twice refuted as "wrong and misinformed."

Inside one of Apple's U.S. data centers
Inside one of Apple's U.S. data centers


Reportedly, servers examined by Amazon had extra hardware embedded on the motherboard, found during a 2015 inspection of startup Elemental Technologies that Amazon was keen to acquire. Bloomberg writes the motherboards had an extra microchip about the same size as a grain of rice, that wasn't part of the original design.

Elemental's motherboards are produced by Supermicro. Apple was once poised to order more than 30,000 servers for its iCloud data centers from Supermicro over two years.

The chips allegedly allowed attackers to access a "stealth doorway onto any network" where the computers were located. The attack with the single chip allegedly offered the potential for "long-term stealth access" that is usually expected of spy agencies. The attack is an extremely difficult as compared to software-based hacks, but could offer far greater results, if successful.

Aside from corporate espionage, the attack could also affect the U.S. military and law enforcement. Elemental's servers were used by the Department of Defense, the CIA's drone operations, on Navy warships, among other sensitive locations.

Bloomberg claims senior insiders at Apple advised that it had found a number of malicious chips in Supermicro boards in May 2015, after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. The company reportedly informed the FBI, but kept the details of what it had uncovered quiet, even internally.

A few weeks after the discovery, Apple started to remove all Supermicro servers from its data centers, with 7,000 installed units replaced over a brief period. According to the report, Apple denies any servers were removed. Apple allegedly cut ties to the company in 2016, for "unrelated reasons" according to the report.

However, Apple differs with the account as set forth by the publication.

Industry response

Apple has provided the following statement to AppleInsider and several other venues.
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.

On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.

In response to Bloomberg's latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.

As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.

We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg's reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.

While there has been no claim that customer data was involved, we take these allegations seriously and we want users to know that we do everything possible to safeguard the personal information they entrust to us. We also want them to know that what Bloomberg is reporting about Apple is inaccurate.

Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that's why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data
Sources inside Apple not authorized to speak on behalf of the company that AppleInsider contacted on Thursday morning called the allegations of a wide-spread attack on Apple by this vector as "laughable" and "really, really wrong." However, they did note that the company is constantly being probed for weaknesses by every imaginable online avenue every hour of every day.

Late on Thursday, Apple amplified its statement on the matter.
The published Businessweek story also claims that Apple "reported the incident to the FBI but kept details about what it had detected tightly held, even internally." In November 2017, after we had first been presented with this allegation, we provided the following information to Bloomberg as part of a lengthy and detailed, on-the-record response. It first addresses their reporters' unsubstantiated claims about a supposed internal investigation:

Despite numerous discussions across multiple teams and organizations, no one at Apple has ever heard of this investigation. Businessweek has refused to provide us with any information to track down the supposed proceedings or findings. Nor have they demonstrated any understanding of the standard procedures which were supposedly circumvented.

No one from Apple ever reached out to the FBI about anything like this, and we have never heard from the FBI about an investigation of this kind -- much less tried to restrict it.

In an appearance this morning on Bloomberg Television, reporter Jordan Robertson made further claims about the supposed discovery of malicious chips, saying, "In Apple's case, our understanding is it was a random spot check of some problematic servers that led to this detection."

As we have previously informed Bloomberg, this is completely untrue. Apple has never found malicious chips in our servers.

Finally, in response to questions we have received from other news organizations since Businessweek published its story, we are not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations.
Amazon had a similar response. It said:
There are so many inaccuracies in this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count. We will name only a few of them here. First, when Amazon was considering acquiring Elemental, we did a lot of due diligence with our own security team, and also commissioned a single external security company to do a security assessment for us as well. That report did not identify any issues with modified chips or hardware.

As is typical with most of these audits, it offered some recommended areas to remediate, and we fixed all critical issues before the acquisition closed. This was the sole external security report commissioned. Bloomberg has admittedly never seen our commissioned security report nor any other (and refused to share any details of any purported other report with us).

The article also claims that after learning of hardware modifications and malicious chips in Elemental servers, we conducted a network-wide audit of SuperMicro motherboards and discovered the malicious chips in a Beijing data center. This claim is similarly untrue. The first and most obvious reason is that we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers.

And, this notion that we sold off the hardware and datacenter in China to our partner Sinnet because we wanted to rid ourselves of SuperMicro servers is absurd. Sinnet had been running these data centers since we launched in China, they owned these data centers from the start, and the hardware we "sold" to them was a transfer-of-assets agreement mandated by new China regulations for non-Chinese cloud providers to continue to operate in China.

What happened with Apple in 2015?

Supermicro Senior Vice President of Technology Tau Leng claimed in 2017 that Apple not only discontinued future business as a result of a single compromised internal development environment following a firmware update in the middle of 2016, but also returned equipment it had ordered.

At the time, Leng claimed that after he was informed of the compromised firmware, Supermicro asked for the version number that was installed. According to the executive, Apple provided an invalid number and refused to disclose any additional information to Super Micro. Leng also claimed that the bad firmware was for a networking chip used in the servers, and "thousands of customers" utilize the same equipment.

The firmware update that caused the compromise was performed in Apple's testing and design lab, and not on any forward-facing hardware. Sources claimed that the firmware downloaded was downloaded from Supermicro's support site, and it was still hosted there months after the event.

At the time, Apple was investing heavily into adding capacity to its Prineville, Ore. and Maiden, N.C. data centers. It had just concluded a massive expansion of the Reno iCloud facility as well.

Supermicro reported that it had lost business from two long-term significant data center equipment customers in the tail-end of 2016, causing a drop in sales and profits year-over-year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 118
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,312member
    How interesting, both those companies were suppliers I dealt with in the past, and right before 2015. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 2 of 118
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,342member
    Ah, Bloomberg …

    Perhaps they should leave the techie stuff to the likes of Ars Technica.

    gilly017netmageanantksundarammagman1979aaronkalbStrangeDaysMuntzpscooter63LukeCagechasm
  • Reply 3 of 118
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    patchythepiratemagman1979MuntzbaconstangCiprolsoundrobotfelix01watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 118
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,446member
    Never thought about the possibility of adding a chip to a motherboard to allow a back door. More importantly I wouldn’t put it past the Chinese regime to do something like that... or any other government. As for Bloomberg, they’re always looking for something negative to say about Apple. Just browse their website and you’ll see. 
    racerhomie3jony0anantksundaramjbdragonmagman1979StrangeDaysMuntzbaconstangLukeCagefelix01
  • Reply 5 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    muthuk_vanalingamavon b7revenantGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 6 of 118
    Yikes.
    edited October 4
  • Reply 7 of 118
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,116member
    Goddamn Bloomberg. There they go again.
    magman1979Muntzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 118
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,312member
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    I am kind of curious what Politics are at play here.

    What we do not know about this, when did this first happen, it was found in 2015, how long have modified PBA's being in production with this chip onboard. Yeah Apple is not doing business with them today, but were they before 2015 and how many if any servers have the rouge chip on the boards.

    I am personally familiar with Supermicro operations I have been in their factories and familiar with their board testing and the such. To make this happen two things had to happen, first the PCB design file needs to be modified, not too hard since the CAD and Gerber files have to be shared with the PCB manufacturer and Supermicro uses Chinese companies, like most high volume manufactures. 

    The next and more difficult thing to do is to have the chip placed on the board. The part would need to be bought or smuggle into the PBA facility and the pick and place machine file would need to be modified to add the part, and someone actively has to put the part into the pick and place machines. This also means the test matrix algorithms had to be modify so the chip did not interfere with other tests run on the PBA. This means company who makes the PBA has to be actively involved. I know Supermicro made some of their high performance PBA in Taiwan in their own factory, then ship PBA to the Fremont facility to be assemble into systems and tested. It sounds like Supermicro outsources the PBA to another Chinese company to place the parts on the board. 
    edited October 4 jony0racerhomie3watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    maestro64 said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    I am kind of curious what Politics are at play here.

    What we do not know about this, when did this first happen, it was found in 2015, how long have modified PBA's being in production with this chip onboard. Yeah Apple is not doing business with them today, but were they before 2015 and how many if any servers have the rouge chip on the boards.

    I am personally familiar with Supermicro operations I have been in their factories and familiar with their board testing and the such. To make this happen two things had to happen, first the PCB design file needs to be modified, not too hard since the CAD and Gerber files have to be shared with the PCB manufacturer and Supermicro uses Chinese companies, like most high volume manufactures. 

    The next and more difficult thing to do is to have the chip placed on the board. The part would need to be bought or smuggle into the PBA facility and the pick and place machine file would need to be modified to add the part, and someone actively has to put the part into the pick and place machines. This also means the test matrix algorithms had to be modify so the chip did not interfere with other tests run on the PBA. This means company who makes the PBA has to be actively involved. I know Supermicro made some of their high performance PBA in Taiwan in their own factory, then ship PBA to the Fremont facility to be assemble into systems and tested. It sounds like Supermicro outsources the PBA to another Chinese company to place the parts on the board. 
    If you read the Bloomberg piece it explains how the purported scheme was accomplished according to hi-level security and intelligence officials. 
    edited October 4 sarthosrevenant
  • Reply 10 of 118
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,615member
    In last few years we all know that China is copying everyone's products/tech,manufacture and selling to rest of world at cheaper price but also kept/keep stealing using every possible way. This is not good for anyone in rest of the world.  Apple,Amazon,etc can deny all they can but it has happened and will continue happening until rest of the world do something strongly. China has focused stealing our high tech companies everywhere having Chinese students after degree in USA work for them including research at universities like MIT. We need to understand that Chinese government agencies work to steal the tech and than pass to Chinese companies.so, Chinese companies is viewed not thieves but it is all the same. Best thing to do is keep eye on everything you do with china and boycott manufacturing and buying from China.
    edited October 4 magman1979baconstang
  • Reply 11 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    wood1208 said:
     Best thing to do is keep eye on everything you do with china and boycott manufacturing and buying from China.
    Apple is also planning to purchase a special NAND chip still in development to use specifically in handsets meant for the Chinese market. Seems a bit un-Apple-ly but my guess is it's in accordance with some Chinese government request. Otherwise I don't see a good reason to have a NAND assembly kept segregated from what Apple is using in the rest of the world. 
    muthuk_vanalingambaconstang
  • Reply 12 of 118
    gatorguy said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    I find it utterly inconceivable that Apple -- especially Tim Cook -- would not be at least as concerned about such a security intrusion as some Bloomberg reporters or unnamed "former senior security officials" (it's the same crowd that kept harassing Apple to create backdoors and to give intrusive access to iOS devices to the likes of the FBI).

    I am quite satisfied -- as both a consumer and a shareholder -- with Apple's unambiguous denial of this claim. I'd take Apple's word over that of these media/Washington DC types.
    magman1979SpamSandwichthtStrangeDaysMuntzrandominternetpersonJWSCpatchythepiratebackstabradarthekat
  • Reply 13 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    gatorguy said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    I find it utterly inconceivable that Apple -- especially Tim Cook -- would not be at least as concerned about such a security intrusion as some Bloomberg reporters or unnamed "former senior security officials" (it's the same crowd that kept harassing Apple to create backdoors and to give intrusive access to iOS devices to the likes of the FBI).

    I am quite satisfied -- as both a consumer and a shareholder -- with Apple's unambiguous denial of this claim. I'd take Apple's word over that of these media/Washington DC types.
    I didn't see any indication that Apple was unconcerned. On the contrary their unusually aggressive denial is an indication of a high degree of concern. 
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 14 of 118
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,589administrator
    gatorguy said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    I find it utterly inconceivable that Apple -- especially Tim Cook -- would not be at least as concerned about such a security intrusion as some Bloomberg reporters or unnamed "former senior security officials" (it's the same crowd that kept harassing Apple to create backdoors and to give intrusive access to iOS devices to the likes of the FBI).

    I am quite satisfied -- as both a consumer and a shareholder -- with Apple's unambiguous denial of this claim. I'd take Apple's word over that of these media/Washington DC types.
    If Bloomberg is wrong, nobody will care in a month.

    If Apple is lying, then the SEC will ultimately dole out a massive fine and the entire saga will be in the press for a very long time.

    Yeah. I'm pretty sure that Apple's presenting the situation accurately.
    lkruppracerhomie3thtStrangeDayssarricazoetmbMuntzrandominternetpersonentropysbaconstang
  • Reply 15 of 118
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    I find it utterly inconceivable that Apple -- especially Tim Cook -- would not be at least as concerned about such a security intrusion as some Bloomberg reporters or unnamed "former senior security officials" (it's the same crowd that kept harassing Apple to create backdoors and to give intrusive access to iOS devices to the likes of the FBI).

    I am quite satisfied -- as both a consumer and a shareholder -- with Apple's unambiguous denial of this claim. I'd take Apple's word over that of these media/Washington DC types.
    I didn't see any indication that Apple was unconcerned. On the contrary their unusually aggressive denial is an indication of a high degree of concern. 
    You missed my point, as usual. (And please don't post a reply to this asking "what was your point". Thanks).
    edited October 4 StrangeDaysMuntzbaconstangJWSCbackstabwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    gatorguy said:
    The Bloomberg story seems politically motivated...

    There isn’t enough information do determine fault in the separate firmware incident.  It also doesn’t say if Apple resumed using SuperMicro as a supplier...

    Bottom line is Apple found a problem and addressed it before it could cause damage.  We don’t know the results of their investigation into whom was responsible.  Was the firmware modified by a third party?  Was it a beta firmware? Was the hardware intercepted and modified after leaving the manufacturer, but before getting to Apple and an exploit introduced?

    No enough information... but Bloomberg needs to get their facts straight before publishing rumors.
    Bloomberg says they DO have their facts straight.
    "The companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials, who—in conversations that began during the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration—detailed the discovery of the chips and the government’s investigation. One of those officials and two people inside AWS provided extensive information on how the attack played out at Elemental and Amazon; the official and one of the insiders also described Amazon’s cooperation with the government investigation. In addition to the three Apple insiders, four of the six U.S. officials confirmed that Apple was a victim. In all, 17 people confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information."

    He said, she said...
    I find it utterly inconceivable that Apple -- especially Tim Cook -- would not be at least as concerned about such a security intrusion as some Bloomberg reporters or unnamed "former senior security officials" (it's the same crowd that kept harassing Apple to create backdoors and to give intrusive access to iOS devices to the likes of the FBI).

    I am quite satisfied -- as both a consumer and a shareholder -- with Apple's unambiguous denial of this claim. I'd take Apple's word over that of these media/Washington DC types.
    If Bloomberg is wrong, nobody will care in a month.

    If Apple is lying, then the SEC will ultimately dole out a massive fine and the entire saga will be in the press for a very long time.

    Yeah. I'm pretty sure that Apple's presenting the situation accurately.
    I suspect this is a national security issue which means the involved players can deny all they want without fear of the SEC who would be prevented from interfering or involving themselves if it's truly an active case.  The Bloomberg articles says as much, that it's still an open and classified investigation.

    On top of that there never were allegations of a "wide-spread attack" on Apple's servers as alluded to in the AI article so of course that's deniable, and calling any source making that claim (they haven't) laughable might be perfectly appropriate.

    Every reference to Apple in the investigative piece (and they were few) indicates Apple caught this early on, never once implying it was persistent and widespread. Amazon also denies anything happened and the whole thing is made up, someone's imagination, despite 17 sources including 6 hi-level current and former intelligence officials claiming otherwise. 
    edited October 4 muthuk_vanalingamronnsarthospatchythepirateGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 118
    colorcolor Posts: 3member
    Assuming this was an attempted/actual security breach and USA security appeared was involved, like NSA, it would be more than likely that Apple/Amazon are under orders to never admit/disclose what happened.

    Were NSA computers using these motherboards, and if so, how,long did it take for something to be done about it?

    The politics of the article would seem to be more about trade with China than any grudge against Apple.

    Does anyone not think that some USA made chips haven’t had some “extra” added to them, courtesy of a request from the NSA?



    sarthosCiprolwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 118
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 116member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Ah, Bloomberg …

    Perhaps they should leave the techie stuff to the likes of Ars Technica.

    Bloomberg has a solid track record of reporting on Apple. Apple has a solid track record of saying little of substance when it does not fit their image.
  • Reply 19 of 118
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,318member
    From two years ago there was this, which Apple also denied but the supplier largely confirmed. The Siri claim came from a different source. In any event that report juxtaposes well with the Bloomberg piece:
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/02/apple-axed-supermicro-servers-from-datacenters-because-of-bad-firmware-update/
    edited October 4 ronn
  • Reply 20 of 118
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,342member
    davgreg said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Ah, Bloomberg …

    Perhaps they should leave the techie stuff to the likes of Ars Technica.

    Bloomberg has a solid track record of reporting on Apple. Apple has a solid track record of saying little of substance when it does not fit their image.
    Nope.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/03/24/editorial-bloomberg-spins-apples-event-as-a-desperate-blind-stab-for-cheap-ipads-in-education

    Bloomberg spins for clicks, like everyone else.



    edited October 4 magman1979racerhomie3thtStrangeDaysMuntzbaconstangpscooter63patchythepiratewatto_cobra
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