UK cybersecurity backs Apple, Amazon's refutations of Bloomberg report

UK cybersecurity backs Apple, Amazon's refutations of Bloomberg report
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The United Kingdom's cybersecurity agency on Friday said it supported Apple and Amazon’s claim that their systems were not compromised as was reported by Bloomberg News.

“We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by [Amazon Web Services] and Apple,” National Cyber Security Centre, a unit of the British intelligence agency, GCHQ, told Reuters.

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Apple and Amazon have refuted a story by Bloomberg, which reported that the companies' systems were compromised via computer chips manufactured by Super Micro Computer. Bloomberg reported that, during the manufacturing process, the Chinese government was able to attach a chip the size of a grain of rice onto motherboards used by American companies — including those used by government contractors.

Apple released a separate public statement, in addition to a statement to Bloomberg, announcing that it found nothing in its internal investigations to support Bloomberg’s reporting.

“Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” the company wrote in a post titled “What Businessweek got wrong about Apple.”

“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,” the company continued.

Bloomberg acknowledged both companies' pushback against its story within the outlet's report, but said the "companies’ denials are countered by six current and former senior national security officials" who had knowledge of the Obama administration's discovery of the chips and the subsequent investigation that has continued into the Trump administration.