UK cyber security agency backs Apple, Amazon China hack denials

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The story in question was an explosive report published on Thursday by Bloomberg describing an espionage operation that planted a tiny spying chip on widely distributed server motherboards supplied to Apple, Amazon, the U.S. Department of Defense and dozens of other organizations. AWS refers to Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud-computing unit.

Then there is Businessweek as a news outlet. Supermicro also says the story is wrong. The reporters who broke the story, or the corporate execs denying it? "We are not aware of any customer dropping Supermicro as a supplier for this type of issue", the company said in a statement.

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In writing directly to four members of Congress, Apple took it a step further. Either way, admission of guilt here about failing to either detect the hack or proactively tell the public about it would be pretty damaging to the reputations of all the victims. The Cupertino-based tech giant sent a letter, dated October 8, to four members of Congress explicitly denying a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Technology is that small, and it wouldn't be a radical political notion for one country to do this to another.

Apple has also told the Congress on Sunday that its servers were not compromised in anyway whatsoever.

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Given that this story is too huge to just sweep under the rug, denials came in swiftly from both Amazon and Apple. It already appears from the story that these companies may have done significant work to quietly settle the issue with the government directly.

In a letter to the chairmen and ranking Democrats on the House and Senate Commerce committees, the Cupertino-based company on Monday disputed a Bloomberg report that Chinese spies used a microchip to infiltrate American computer networks. Most people do not know Instagram is Facebook, most government websites are absolute trash, and Social Security cards are still literal pieces of paper. It said that USA investigators had found that Chinese agents operating on behalf of the People's Liberation Army had used a combination of subterfuge, bribery, and threats to insert the compromising chips during various stages of Supermicro's supply chain, after which point they would have been almost impossible to detect and given backdoor access to the systems they were implanted in.

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The truth might never be settled in this case, and surely we are all spying on each other regardless of whether it's accomplished domestically, internationally, interpersonally, or technologically. Unfortunately, we don't yet know.

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