Apple and Amazon deny allegations of server tampering by Chinese agents

Apple and Amazon deny allegations of server tampering by Chinese agents

Given that this story is too huge to just sweep under the rug, denials came in swiftly from both Amazon and Apple. According to Bloomberg, these servers wound up in the data centers of nearly 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon. "We've found no evidence to support claims of malicious chips or hardware modifications", Amazon said in a statement. Amazon says it is "untrue" that it knew of "servers containing malicious chips or modifications in data centres based in China", or that it "worked with the FBI to investigate or provide data about malicious hardware". "Nothing was ever found", he wrote. Several of them focused on claims in the initial Washington Post story that the NSA had "direct access" to user data.

"Our internal investigations directly contradict every consequential assertion made in the article", Apple writes.

A senior security engineer directly involved in Apple's internal investigation described it as "endoscopic", noting they had never seen a chip like the one described in the story, let alone found one. In a follow-up email to Ars, Apple confirmed that this denial applies to other government agencies as well. Apple is equally definitive, telling Bloomberg: "On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server". The publication has a reputation for rigor, and lest it get some fact wrong and needlessly tank a whole industry, it generally errs on the side of not going to bat on neggy business stories.

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Britain's national cyber security agency said on Friday it had no reason to doubt the assessments made by Apple Inc and Inc challenging a Bloomberg report that their systems contained malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence services. Apple, Amazon, major banks and other companies were said to be affected. This is what had been alleged in a recent article by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. But the fact that such crucial information is at so far of a remove from us that we have so little recourse to check what, precisely, is going on with it, and we are all uneducated enough about technology that a set of simple facts are so hard to parse, is uh, quite a place to be in.

Bloomberg has stuck by its report, insisting on its veracity. But it remains unclear whether this was a photograph of an actual board or a digital recreation.

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