U.S. Senators Rubio and Blumenthal demand answers from Supermicro over spy chip allegations

“A pair of senators have written to Supermicro requesting more information about events detailed in the recent Bloomberg investigation alleging the company’s servers were compromised, in an attempt to find out if it is a risk to the national security of the United States,” Malcolm Owen reports for AppleInsider.

“The letter from Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Richard Blumenthal expresses concern about the potential tampering of computer hardware produced by Supermicro, reports Business Insider, allegedly as part of a sophisticated espionage scheme by the Chinese government,” Owen reports. The report from Bloomberg, where the allegations stem from, made claims tiny chips were planted on motherboards to provide backdoors to Chinese operatives, granting access to data without needing to perform a more traditional and short-term hack.””

“The letter details a list of eight question areas that the Senators ask to be responded to by October 17,” Owen reports. “The Bloomberg report’s allegations have received considerable scrutiny regarding how genuine the report really is. Shortly after its release, companies such as Apple and Amazon named in the report issued strong denials about its content, including one from Apple characterizing the story as ‘wrong and misinformed.’ Apple has also performed a “massive, granular, and siloed investigation” into claims raised in the report, but did not discover any evidence of hardware tampering, or any unrelated incidents that could have contributed to the report’s claims. Apple has already contacted the U.S. Congress, insisting there is a lack of evidence.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The letter to Supermicro from Senators Rubio and Blumenthal can be read in full here.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Shanghai in possible PR move after Bloomberg Businessweek’s spy chip yarn – October 9, 2018
One of Bloomberg’s sources told them Chinese spy chip story ‘didn’t make sense’ – October 9, 2018
Apple suppliers took an $18 billion stock hit after Bloomberg’s disputed China hacking report – October 5, 2018
UK cyber security agency backs Apple, Amazon China hack denials – October 5, 2018
Apple official statement: What Bloomberg Businessweek got wrong about Apple – October 5, 2018
Apple strongly disputes Bloomberg BusinessWeek report that Chinese ‘spy’ chips were found in iCloud servers – October 4, 2018


  1. It should actually be quite simple.

    Go to the reporters and tell them to produce a minimum of five phones that have these “spy chips” in them. Supposedly this has been going on for years. Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iPhones in the past several years. Android phones have sold even more. Surely, if this is a real thing, i.e., “spy chips” put into the phones, then the reporters can get their hands on at least five of phones that have those chips in them. Hell, they should be able to come up with hundreds or thousands, but I’d settle for a minimum of five clear, hardware examples.

    It is an absolute impossibility to prove that something is not. Apple and the rest cannot prove there are absolutely no phones with spy chips in them. However, if this is real, the people claiming it is real should be able to provide physical examples that it is real.

    If they cannot come up with at least five physical examples, then the story is definitively false and the reporters and their publishers should issue a full retraction.

        1. This story is about the Bloomberg “Big Hack” story that server “computer hardware produced by Supermicro” was alleged to have spy chips installed. There has been no evidence that was true, so you’re right about demanding physical evidence. But, the story was never about spy chips in phones – it was about high-end server computers built by Supermicro.

    1. But I very much doubt that Apple officially ever said that it has “absolutely no phones with spy chips in them,” only that its extensive and ongoing examinations have found no evidence of that spy chip.

    1. …and Siri. Timbo says, wink wink, that Apple cares about all your private data. Thats why he is doing everything possible to force users into iCloud rental.

      Can Apple bring forth evidence to prove that they guarantee user privacy or security? It aint in any Apple user agreement. Apple knows very well that at some point its Chinese supply chain would bite them in the ass. As long as Apple lawyers have the fine print legalese coverage against users and every other stupid greedy us corporation has opened itself to Chinese IP theft, its fine. Cooks retirement accounts are flush.

  2. But no demand over no immigration legislation, Trumps criminal treatment on immigrant children or a weak FBI in investigation on Kavanaugh.

    First the US lowered the bar with the Tea Party – racism, hatred and bigotry at it’s highest.

    Second the US lowered the bar still further electing Trump with no Tax returns, racist and sexist views and actions known before the election.

    Third the US (Trump & the GOP Senate) selected and pushed through Kavanaugh for highest court in the land. His views on certain topics are such that even before the sexual assault allegations came out almost half the Senate was voting against him.

    Now the bar is set so low any one can just walk over it.

  3. Seems to me that they should be going after Bloomberg for making allegations with no ‘visible’ support. Prove it or apologize. these unsubstantiated allegations have cost the lost of millions of dollars of value for many businesses and shareholders. If they can’t prove it they should be facing the SEC!

    1. That’s pretty nonsensical, unless the SEC thinks and can prove that the author knew they were reporting something untrue and did it with the intention of manipulating the market.

      Now, if this turns out to be wrong, which seems increasingly likely, Bloomberg Business and this author deserve to take a BIG hit to their reputation.

    2. No. Journalists who lie are subjected to very short careers. Bloomberg’s readership would evaporate if there wasn’t some evidence to back what they say. This is in sharp contrast to politcians and corporations that lie with impunity repeatedly and pass the blame. The public sheep don’t ever prosecute those lies. Google and Facebook are richer and more powerful than ever.

  4. Rubio and Blumnethal are asses because having an enemy steal your military IP is good for the military economy because theft assures that the Pentagon will beg for more Socialist money to develop improved weaponry. The Pentagon then kicks back into the their election campaigns. So this is the cycle.

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