Bloomberg: China broke in at companies VS with chip

Oct

4

2018

Bloomberg: China broke in at companies VS with chip on server motherboards
Chinese government has tried to penetrate US companies via chips on server motherboards. That claims financial news agency Bloomberg. The companies involved and the Chinese government are denying the story.

Employees of a part of the Chinese government specializing in hardware hacks would have tried to have the chips installed on the motherboard in the Chinese factories where the motherboards were produced, bribed by Bloomberg . Then those chips came into servers from Apple, Amazon and Bloomberg itself. This would include Apple servers in Amsterdam, which would handle Siri searches as part of a project, in addition to servers in many other cities.

The hack would have come to light after Amazon researched Elemental Technologies, a maker of software for servers that the American company Super Micro Computer, or Supermicro, assembled. During that investigation Amazon stumbled on the extra chip on the motherboard, smaller than a fingernail. Later, the Chinese government would have used an even smaller chip, which does not stand out because it can be placed under other chips on the motherboard.

The chip could contact servers via the internet to receive instructions and would have been able to modify the software. The intention was to have a backdoor in that way in the networks where the servers were located. The chips the size of a grain of rice would have had their own cpu cores, their own network possibilities and their own memory.

The companies involved, including Apple and Amazon, deny the existence of the chip. “Apple has never found malicious chips, hardware manipulations or vulnerabilities that have been deliberately placed on a server, Apple has never had contact with the FBI or any other service about such an incident.” Apple says it has 2000 servers from Supermicro, but denies that it has found the chips. Amazon says in its denial that it found four problems with the purchase of Elemental, a takeover that took place in 2015. None of those were in the hardware.

The method is reminiscent of the practice described in 2010 Snowden documents, in which the NSA intercepted routers and servers for export and provided espionage for spioning implants. Conversely, Chinese companies such as ZTE and Huawei regularly receive accusations about the placement of spy tools in network equipment.

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In: A Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [23633 Red Star Level]

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