Apple and Amazon take punitive action against Bloomberg’s ‘misinformed’ hacking story

It was only earlier this month when Bloomberg published a story alleging that China hacked into Amazon and Apple’s servers, and now the two tech giants seem to be retaliating against Bloomberg. Apple did not invite Bloomberg to its fall product event “There’s More in the Making” that takes place tomorrow in Brooklyn. Amazon, on the other hand, pulled its fourth quarter advertisements from Bloomberg’s website, last week, leading to a huge loss in Bloomberg’s ad revenue.

An Amazon spokesperson told BuzzFeed News last week that the ads were canceled “due to a missed creative deadline”. Apple, on the other hand, declined to comment on this.

Tim Cook, CEO, Apple, had asked Bloomberg to retract the story, in an interview with BuzzFeed News on 19th October. “There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook mentioned to BuzzFeed.

Apple also published a statement regarding the same, “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. Apple has repeatedly explained to Bloomberg reporters and editors over the past 12 months, there is no truth to these claims”.

Andy Jassy, Amazon web services CEO and Super Micro joined in Apple, refuting the claims made by Bloomberg.

Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer at Amazon Web Services further stated, “as we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue. At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Nor have we engaged in an investigation with the government. There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they’re hard to count”.

Super Micro also issued a statement, stating, “Super Micro strongly refutes reports that servers it sold to customers contained malicious microchips in the motherboards of those systems. Supermicro takes all security claims very seriously and makes continuous investments in the security capabilities of their products. Super Micro qualifies and certifies every contract manufacturer and routinely inspects their facilities and processes closely”.

According to the Bloomberg article, Chinese spies had implanted tiny chips on computer motherboards made by Super Micro Computer. “In Supermicro, China’s spies appear to have found a perfect conduit for what U.S. officials now describe as the most significant supply chain attack known to have been carried out against American companies”. These motherboards were used by several of the largest American tech giants such as Amazon and Apple. These chips then provided secret access to the private data on the machines.

The report also states that “the chips were reportedly built to be as inconspicuous as possible and to mimic signal conditioning couplers. It was determined during an investigation, which took three years to conclude, that the chip allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines.”

Although, both Amazon and Apple totally refute the allegations, Bloomberg, however, continues to stand by its report.  

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Security News – Packt Hub authored by Natasha Mathur. Read the original post at: https://hub.packtpub.com/apple-and-amazon-take-punitive-action-against-bloombergs-misinformed-hacking-story/