Apple has doubled down on its repudiation of Bloomberg’s report last week that claimed its systems had been compromised by Chinese spies.
The blockbuster story cited more than a dozen sources claiming 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. Bloomberg’s report also claimed that the chip can reportedly compromise data on the server, allowing China to spy on some of the world’s most powerful tech companies.
Now, in a letter to Congress, Apple’s vice president of information security George Stathakopoulos sent the company’s strongest denial to date.
“Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” he said. “We never alerted the FBI to any security concerns like those described in the article, nor has the FBI ever contacted us about such an investigation.”
It follows a statement by both the U.K. National Cyber Security Center and U.S. Homeland Security stating that they had “no reason to doubt” statements by Apple, Amazon and Supermicro denying the claims.
Stathakopoulos added that Apple “repeatedly asked them to share specific details about the alleged malicious chips that they seemed certain existed, they were unwilling or unable to provide anything more than vague secondhand accounts.”
Apple’s statement is far stronger than its earlier remarks. A key detail missing in the Bloomberg story is that its many sources, albeit anonymous, provided the reporters with a first hand account of the alleged spy chips.
Without any evidence that the chips exist beyond eyewitness accounts and sources, Bloomberg’s story remains on shaky grounds.