Tech: Apple and Amazon fire back at an explosive report linking them to a giant Chinese microchip hack: It's 'hard to count' the inaccuracies (AAPL, AMZN)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Bloomberg reports that Apple and Amazon used hardware that could have been compromised by Chinese spies. Apple and Amazon are going to unusual lengths to fire back.

  • Apple and Amazon have issued unusually robust on-the-record statements, refuting a Bloomberg report that Chinese spies planted microchips in hardware from supplier Super Micro.
  • "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 said, in part.
  • "As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue," Amazon said, in part.

Apple and Amazon have strongly refuted a Bloomberg report linking them to a giant Chinese plot to hack into the databases of US companies using tiny microchips.

In unusually robust on the record statements, the two trillion dollar tech companies said they know nothing about Chinese spies planting rice grain-sized microchips in hardware that reached 30 major American companies.

According to Bloomberg, Apple discovered the malicious chips three years ago in hardware supplied by motherboard specialist Super Micro. But Apple pointed Business Insider to the statement it sent Bloomberg, which said it has "never found malicious chips, 'hardware manipulations' or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server."

The full statement, which is available here, added that Apple always inspects its servers before they are put into production and if it found anything suspicious, it would have alerted the authorities.

"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 said.

Amazon said in a statement that Bloomberg had made so many inaccurate claims, they're “hard to count.”

Bloomberg reported that Amazon performed a “network-wide audit” after the company found the malicious chips in Super Micro hardware in its Beijing data center. Amazon says this never occurred, as modified hardware or malicious chips were never found in its servers. Bloomberg also reported that the modified hardware was found in systems operated by Elemental Media, a company Amazon acquired in 2015, which the company also refutes.

"As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, this is untrue," Amazon said in a statement, which you can read here. "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."

Bloomberg ran its original story with informtion from 17 unnamed intelligence and company sources.

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