Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Chinese spy chip reportedly found in server at major United States telecom

US national intelligence director Dan Coats identified Russia as the most aggressive foreign actor cyber attacker Report Telecom Company Uncovers Further Evidence of Chinese Hardware Hack AFP Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS9 Oct 2018
Roberta Sherman | 11 October, 2018, 12:37

The veracity of a bombshell yarn claiming Chinese agents managed to sneak spy chips into Super Micro servers used by Amazon, Apple and the USA government is still being fiercely argued over five days after publication.

While the hardware manipulation reported Tuesday is different from the one described last week, Bloomberg said they shared key characteristics, namely that they were both created to "give attackers invisible access to data on a computer network in which the server is installed".

The companies named in the report quickly issued denials, and have since been joined by law enforcement and security services from the United States and beyond. We are told the officials span both the Obama and Trump administrations.

Supermicro, naturally, continues to deny the outlet's claims, reiterating that it has 'no knowledge of any unauthorised components and have not been informed by any customer that any such components have been found, ' accusing Bloomberg of providing only limited information, no documentation, and only half a day to investigate and respond to its report prior to publication - an accusation Bloomberg refutes, claiming it provided a full 24 hours.

Now, one of the few named sources in the original story - Joe FitzPatrick, a hardware security expert, who is only quoted in relation to a hypothetical scenario where a piece of "hardware opens whatever door it wants" - says he highly doubts the report is accurate.

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Brown was extremely agitated, acting aggressively, and yelling at security personnel when [police] arrived to the scene". Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown runs during the first half of a game against the Baltimore Ravens.

FitzPatrick was interviewed on Risky Business, a podcast that features "news and in-depth commentary from security industry luminaries".

"Spreading hardware fear, uncertainty and doubt is entirely in my financial gain, but it doesn't make sense because there are so many easier ways to do this. There are software, there are firmware approaches, and the approach that you're describing, it's not scalable, it's not logical, it's not how I would do it, or how anybody I know would do it".

Apleboum goes still further, claiming to have seen similar hardware-level attacks against devices from numerous vendors rather than exclusively Supermicro, blaming the 'Chinese supply chain' for making the attacks possible. "I see a lot of details that I gave out of context".

On Monday, Apple sent a letter to Congress reiterating its denial of Bloomberg's report, saying it "has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server".

The report alleges Chinese intelligence agents placed malicious microchips on server motherboards supplied by Super Micro Computing Inc., setting up a backdoor to some 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon Web Services. In both stories, Bloomberg hadn't provided evidence to the companies in question or outside observers.

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The 28-year-old princess, who is ninth in line to the throne, is due to marry liquor company executive Brooksbank Friday in St. Also taking up the role of bridesmaids will be Savannah and Isla Phillips, the daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips.

The "grain of rice" size of the alleged chip implant raised red flags for multiple experts.

Bloomberg's original article on Chinese tampering was heavily criticized for relying on anonymous sourcing. "I can buy them on Taobao for 1 yuan".

AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all told Ars they weren't the telecom mentioned in the Bloomberg post.

What does this all mean in the end? The data centers of roughly 30 US companies, as well as some USA government contractors, were said to have been affected.

Supermicro, whose shares plummeted by 41 percent October 4 after the initial revelations of tampered chips and by 27 percent after the latest report this week, emphatically denies allegations that it sold compromised hardware.

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Additionally, several of gospel and R&B's heaviest hitters will assemble for what's sure to be a touching Aretha Franklin tribute. During one of her acceptance speeches, Swift thanked her fans. "I'm even more excited about the next chapter".

FitzPatrick, for what it's worth, also speculated that he thinks this kind of confusion about the technical details could have tripped up either a source or the Bloomberg journalists.

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