Homeland Security has said it has “no reason to doubt” statements by Apple, Amazon and Supermicro denying allegations made in a Bloomberg report published earlier this week.
It’s the first statement so far from the U.S. government on the report, casting doubt on the findings. Homeland Security’s statement echos near-identical comments from the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center.
Bloomberg said, citing more than a dozen sources, that China installed tiny chips on motherboards built by Supermicro, which companies across the U.S. tech industry — including Amazon and Apple — have used to power servers in their datacenters. The chip can reportedly compromise data on the server, allowing China to spy on some of the world’s most wealthy and powerful companies.
Apple, Amazon and Supermicro later published statements on their websites. Bloomberg said it’s sticking by its story. And yet, this latest twist isn’t likely to leave anyone less confused, days after the story was first published.
Homeland Security protects the nation’s cyber defenses from both domestic and foreign threats. It’s rare for the government to issue a statement on an apparent threat which, according to Bloomberg, is a classified matter that’s been under federal investigation for three years.
The reality is that days after this story broke, it seems many of the smartest, technically minded, rational cybersecurity experts still don’t know who to believe — Bloomberg, or everyone else.
And until someone gets their hands on these apparent chips, don’t expect that to change any time soon.