Remember Bloomberg’s explosive report from “anonymous sources in the intelligence community” that claimed spy chips have been planted in motherboards out of China that went into Amazon, Apple, and other’s servers? Well, Apple and Amazon are already on record saying that in an effort to cry wolf, Bloomberg has confused stories and essentially created a piece of fake news.
In a sign that “our democracy is under attack” spy stories from anonymous sources should be taken with a rock of salt, an independent audit of the alleged culprit, Super Micro, found zilch in its turn, informs Reuters. The allegations came out just when the White House administration and intelligence agencies were gearing up for a trade and intellectual property war with China.
Stories about the country’s nefarious intents started flooding the media with anecdotal evidence and from anonymous sources as if to prepare and form the public opinion towards what could be a long and protracted tit-for-tat that can cause damage on both sides. The latest installment of that saga is the request that the Huawei founder’s granddaughter be extradited to face trial in the US, countered by China with a potential ban on all but the newest iPhones.
In any case, the “intelligence agencies” are known to have planted a story or two to serve their strategic purposes, and the “spy chip in iCloud servers” story may turn out to be greatly exaggerated, too. Led by former federal prosecutors, the Super Micro audit examined current and former motherboard models, including the ones sold to Apple or Amazon, as well as adjacent software, and found no signal intelligence being doled out or sent anywhere.
The China trade war thing is apparently going to get worse before it gets better, and Super Micro is now “reviewing its legal options,” perhaps in an intent to sue Bloomberg for the piece or demand retraction. Cue the popcorn.