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DHS: No reason to doubt denials of firms named in China hack report

DHS: No reason to doubt denials of firms named in China hack report
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it has "no reason" to doubt multiple companies that said their equipment was unaffected in a Chinese hacking scheme, despite a Bloomberg report to the contrary.

“The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story," DHS press secretary Tyler Houlton said in a statement late Saturday.

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The remarks come days after Bloomberg reported that Amazon and Apple were among nearly 30 U.S. companies compromised by a Chinese intelligence hardware hacking scheme.

The hack reportedly involved installing extra components onto computer chips while they were still being manufactured in Chinese factories.

The malicious chips were reportedly placed by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, which was able to infiltrate the manufacturing process of a hardware company called Super Micro. At the size of a grain of rice, according to Bloomberg, the chips were designed to be inconspicuous and avoid detection.

Bloomberg reported that the 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.

The report comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China. The two countries have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on one another in an escalating trade dispute, and the Trump administration has in recent weeks accused the Chinese of attempting to influence the 2018 elections in opposition to the president.

"To put it bluntly, President TrumpDonald TrumpFreedom Caucus member condemns GOP group pushing 'Anglo-Saxon political traditions' MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's new free speech site to ban certain curse words Secret Facebook groups of special operations officers include racist comments, QAnon posts: report MORE’s leadership is working; China wants a different American president," Vice President Pence said in a speech last week.