Apple CEO urges Bloomberg to retract spy chip story

Apple CEO Tim Cook                  James Martin  CNET

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Friday told an online news website that Bloomberg should retract a story that claimed Apple's internal computer systems had been infiltrated by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence agents. He's calling upon Bloomberg to do the right thing and retract it. Apple has never taken such a step before.

Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that servers from San Jose-based Supermicro - which were used by many big tech companies including Apple and Amazon - were implanted with Chinese surveillance chips, and that there is an ongoing FBI investigation into the matter.

While Apple did end its relationship with SuperMicro over a security incident, it was reportedly due to a single "accidental" situation unrelated to the widespread hacking alleged in Bloomberg's story.

Earlier it was reported that Apple has put protection to fix the device outside of its services.

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Cook told an online news agency that there was no truth in the story about Apple and Bloomberg needs to do the right thing by retracting it. And, in an unprecedented move for the company, he called for a retraction of the story that made this claim. Bloomberg has stood by the story despite vociferous denials from the companies named in the report, and told Buzzfeed for its story, "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources".

Bloomberg Businessweek issued a story earlier this month alleging about 30 USA companies were compromised after their servers were implanted malicious chips during their manufacture in China, which created "a stealth backdoor" into their network running on the servers.

Multiple security experts have questioned the legitimacy of Bloomberg's claims. "They said 17 sources have confirmed "manipulating hardware" and other attack factors". We also published three companies' full statements, as well as a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Previously, Apple has said that it "has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server". According to the company though, none of this ever happened. "Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records". New York, Chicago and Newark, New Jersey, have gotten fresh visits - but Raleigh, North Carolina, has not, the Journal reports, citing sources.

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