It's also untrue that AWS knew about servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centers based in China, or that AWS worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware.
The report said that a unit of the Chinese People's Liberation Army infiltrated the supply chain of computer hardware maker Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI.PK) to plant malicious chips that could be used to steal corporate and government secrets.
The report said that dozens of companies may have used sabotaged servers in their data centers before the Chinese operation was detected.
According to the report, Apple and Amazon used Supermicro products in their respective data centers until 2015 or 2016, when both companies abruptly upgraded and switched providers. Gray or off-white in color, they looked more like signal conditioning couplers, another common motherboard component, than microchips, and so they were unlikely to be detectable without specialized equipment.
Consumer data is not believed to have been involved in the security incident. "The manufacture of motherboards in China is not unique to Supermicro and is a standard industry practice", the company said.
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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. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips. The post goes on to specifically say that Bloomberg's claim of Amazon selling potentially infected servers to its Chinese partner Sinnet is "absurd". "It's also untrue that AWS knew about servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centers based in China, or that AWS worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware".
One unnamed USA official said the chips could modify the server's operating systems, letting spies control the computers remotely and access the information held on them. Amazon later did the same thing, Bloomberg says, claiming that at a top-secret investigation into the issue remains open to this day.
"On this, we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server", Apple told Bloomberg. It said it has never found any malicious chips, has not been informed by any customer that such chips have been found, and has never been contacted by any government agencies on the matter. Amazon disputes Bloomberg's report that the company took its findings to authorities, setting off alarm bells across the intelligence community as Supermicro has hundreds of government customers.
Bloomberg's investigation has not been confirmed on the record.
Representatives with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to requests for comment.