Lawmakers press Super Micro for answers on hacking concerns

Lawmakers press Super Micro for answers on hacking concerns
© Anna Moneymaker

Lawmakers are demanding answers to concerns about reports of Chinese cyber espionage regarding the IT company Super Micro.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: FTC reportedly settles with Facebook for B fine | Trump calls to regulate Facebook's crypto project | Court rules Pentagon can award B 'war cloud' contract | Study shows automation will hit rural areas hardest Court rules Pentagon can award B 'war cloud' contract later this summer Rubio asks White House to delay B Pentagon contract over Amazon concerns   MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday put pressure on the company, asking in a letter that it cooperate with law enforcement and explain more about the potential breach.

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The lawmakers’ concerns stem from a Bloomberg Businessweek report that detailed how the Chinese government was able to take advantage of vulnerabilities in Super Micro’s supply chain to install their own chips onto the company’s motherboards, which it then sold to many American firms including Apple and Amazon.

Super Micro, Apple and Amazon have all refuted the Bloomberg report, saying that their own investigations have not found evidence of a hack or of being compromised in the way described in the report.

Rubio and Blumenthal acknowledged the denials, but say that given the severity of the report, they still want further explanation.

“The nature of the claims raised alarms that must be comprehensively addressed,” the two wrote.

“We are alarmed about the dangers posed by backdoors, and take any claimed threat to the nation’s networks and supply chain seriously,” Rubio and Blumenthal continued. “These new allegations require thorough answers and urgent investigation for customers, law enforcement, and Congress.”

The two asked that Super Micro provide answers to several questions including if Super Micro has ever found evidence of hardware being tampered with, if it has investigated its supply chain as it previously committed to doing and if the Chinese government has ever requested access to Super Micro’s confidential security information.

Blumenthal and Rubio’s letter comes just after news that Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP struggles to find backup plan for avoiding debt default GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries High anxiety hits Senate over raising debt ceiling MORE (R-S.D.) had previously sent letters to Apple, Amazon and Super Micro asking them for more answers as well and to brief committee staff on what they knew regarding Bloomberg’s report.