Following the article published this morning by Bloomberg, according to which several companies such as Apple and Amazon would find spy chips inside their servers, comes the response from the company of Tim Cook.
In a statement released to CNBC, Apple stated that the report published by Bloomberg is false and that the journalists of the newspaper did not verify the reliability of their sources. Specifically, the prosecution was talking about servers supplied by Super Micro, on which a spy chip was inserted by the Chinese government. Apple explains that the relationship with the Super Micro ended in 2016 and found an infected driver on a single server inside a laboratory. It was an isolated case and not a targeted attack, among other things without any consequence. The incident was however reported already last year by various media.
Bloomberg claims that Apple discovered this spy chip in May 2015, and then secretly informed the FBI a few days later. This chip would have been inserted by the Chinese government to spy on US companies and their customers. In short, a real “hardware hacking”.
Here is the complete answer provided by Apple:
Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple. Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them. We have repeatedly and consistently offered factual responses, on the record, refuting virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story relating to Apple.
On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.
In response to Bloomberg’s latest version of the narrative, we present the following facts: Siri and Topsy never shared servers; Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers has ever been found to hold malicious chips.
As a matter of practice, before servers are put into production at Apple they are inspected for security vulnerabilities and we update all firmware and software with the latest protections. We did not uncover any unusual vulnerabilities in the servers we purchased from Super Micro when we updated the firmware and software according to our standard procedures.
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. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.
While there has been no claim that customer data was involved, we take these allegations seriously and we want users to know that we do everything possible to safeguard the personal information they entrust to us. We also want them to know that what Bloomberg is reporting about Apple is inaccurate.
Apple has always believed in being transparent about the ways we handle and protect data. If there were ever such an event as Bloomberg News has claimed, we would be forthcoming about it and we would work closely with law enforcement. Apple engineers conduct regular and rigorous security screenings to ensure that our systems are safe. We know that security is an endless race and that’s why we constantly fortify our systems against increasingly sophisticated hackers and cybercriminals who want to steal our data.
A very harsh response, a denial that Apple published to confirm the non-involvement of Bloomberg’s allegations.