Investigating implausible Bloomberg Businessweek’s Supermicro spy chip yarn

“Today we are going to more thoroughly address the Bloomberg Businessweek article alleging that China targeted 30 companies by inserting chips in the manufacturing process of Supermicro servers,” Patrick Kennedy writes for STH. “Despite denials from named companies and the technology press casting some reasonable doubt on the story, Bloomberg doubled down and posted a follow-up article claiming a different hack took place.”

“In the first section, we are going to discuss why there are some fairly astounding plausibility and feasibility gaps in Bloomberg’s description of how the hack worked. The weakness in this section of the Bloomberg article makes it extremely difficult to navigate and it is light on details,” Kennedy writes. “Bloomberg’s report describes an attack that is not possible at the companies listed in the article.”

“Bloomberg needs to either present credible and verifiable information to prove this story is true. The hack they presented does not work against the intended targets as we have shown here. There is now enough evidence pointing to systematic discrepancies that the stories cannot stand,” Kennedy writes. “If Bloomberg cannot present credible information to show how the hack presented is possible, plausible, and did happen, Bloomberg needs to retract the story and investigate how this passed editorial muster and was published.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, Bloomberg Businessweek, don’t we have enough fake news already?

If it isn’t backed, you must retract.

AWS CEO joins Tim Cook in urging Bloomberg Businessweek to retract its Chinese spy chip yarn – October 22, 2018
Super Micro to review hardware for malicious chips – October 22, 2018
Apple CEO Tim Cook: Bloomberg Businessweek should do the right thing and retract its Chinese spy chip story – October 19, 2018
Before China iCloud spy chip allegations, Bloomberg published these five incorrect stories about Apple – October 10, 2018
U.S. Senators Rubio and Blumenthal demand answers from Supermicro over spy chip allegations – October 10, 2018
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. “Thou doth protest too much.”

    Given our inability to influence China on things like this, it isn’t unreasonable to suspect that companies were denying a problem they know they can’t solve.

  2. It may be fake news and there are some that are pointing out the obvious but these days of “guilty even when proven innocent” drive people to do amazingly ridiculous and immoral things. I mean just look at that search for weapons of mass destruction, so many citizens of Apple’s home nation can’t even own up to the obvious lack of morals and ethics.

    It isn’t about facts anymore with these types, just speculation.

    Then again, maybe these chips are being made at the weapons of mass destruction program. Not a bad idea, cause you’d have to be competent to find it and after a decade plus of searching, well makes you wonder if they even got the right country.

      1. Thank you for the link. I’ve read a few articles as well and followed the Hans Blix saga at the time. At any rate it’s nice to get some feedback on the topic.

        Again I want to thank you for your other post the other day, it was totally awesome!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.