Major US telecom company discovers manipulated hardware: report

Major US telecom company discovers manipulated hardware: report
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A U.S. telecommunications company has reportedly discovered “manipulated” hardware from chip maker Super Micro.

The revelation comes days after a report said that motherboards made by the company were modified to let Chinese hackers into the computer systems that installed the chips.

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Yossi Appleboum, a security expert working for the telecommunications company, gave the news outlet documents and analysis as evidence of the hardware manipulation.

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Appleboum did not disclose the name of the telecommunications company because of nondisclosure agreements, according to Bloomberg.

The security expert told the news outlet that during his work at the firm Sepio Security, he had encountered similar manipulations of other computer company’s hardware that was manufactured by contractors in China.

He pointed to various points of vulnerability in the Chinese supply chain, where such modifications can be made.

"Supermicro is a victim — so is everyone else,” he told Bloomberg.

In a statement to the outlet, Super Micro stressed its commitment to the integrity and security of its products and said it was not aware of the vulnerabilities previously detailed by Bloomberg.

“We still have no knowledge of any unauthorized components and have not been informed by any customer that such components have been found,” the company wrote. “We are dismayed that Bloomberg would give us only limited information, no documentation, and half a day to respond to these new allegations.”

The initial report, citing multiple government sources, said that companies like Apple and Amazon, as well as government contractors, had received hardware from Super Micro that had been tampered with by the Chinese government.

All three companies have pushed back on Bloomberg’s reporting.

Apple has also issued a public statement on the matter and sent a letter to Congress challenging the report.