China used microchips to infiltrate U.S. company servers

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Apple and Amazon have become the subject of intense speculation after a new report claims their servers were infiltrated by Chinese spy chips.

According to a Bloomberg investigative report, a Chinese military unit planted microchips the size of a pencil tip into motherboards while they were on the production line in China.

The compromised hardware was supplied to Supermicro Computer in San Jose, California, and inserted into servers that were then used by almost 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon.

With the microchips, Chinese hackers had access to the companies' data centers, allowing them to steal information, connect with other servers, and alter operations.

U.S. intelligence services allegedly found out about the chip in 2015, around the same time that Apple and Amazon discovered the breach on their servers.

However, Supermicro, Apple, and Amazon have denied the claims made in the report. The Department of Homeland Security also came out saying it has no reason to doubt the companies' statements.

A follow-up Bloomberg report points to 'new evidence' from a telecom company, where a similar microchip was found embedded in the Ethernet connector of servers sourced from Supermicro.

Experts say hardware hacks are a legitimate concern, and are far more devastating and hard to detect than software-based incidents.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of Chinese microchip planted into motherboard during assembly
2. Depiction of tampered motherboard built into U.S. company servers
3. Depiction of Chinese hackers accessing servers via microchips
4. Depiction of similar Chinese microchip found embedded in Ethernet connector

VOICEOVER (in English):
"According to a Bloomberg report, a Chinese military unit planted microchips the size of a pencil tip into motherboards while they were on the production line in China."

"The compromised hardware was supplied to Supermicro Computer in California, and inserted into servers that were used by almost 30 U.S. companies, including Apple and Amazon."

"With the microchips, Chinese hackers had access to the companies' data centers, allowing them to steal information, connect with other servers, and alter operations."

"A follow-up Bloomberg report points to 'new evidence' from a telecom company, where a similar microchip was found embedded in the Ethernet connector of servers sourced from Supermicro."

SOURCES: Bloomberg, The Guardian
https://www.bloomberg.com/businessweek
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-10-09/new-evidence-of-hacked-supermicro-hardware-found-in-u-s-telecom
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/04/china-planted-chips-on-apple-and-amazon-servers-report-claims