How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

Nested on the servers’ motherboards, the testers found a tiny microchip, not much bigger than a grain of rice, that wasn’t part of the boards’ original design. Amazon reported the discovery to U.S. authorities, sending a shudder through the intelligence community. Elemental’s servers could be found in Department of Defense data centers, the CIA’s drone operations, and the onboard networks of Navy warships. And Elemental was just one of hundreds of Supermicro customers.

During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.

Chinese hackers planted a malicious chip into computer equipment used by a slew of US companies, including Apple and Amazon, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek

…but the China-America supply chain has apparently been compromised and weaponized, according to a new blockbuster report by Bloomberg Businessweek . According to the report, a group within China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has embedded a microchip into motherboards used by a company called Supermicro, which sells servers to many major American companies, including Apple and Amazon. According to the report, the microchip is capable of compromising the server, allowing China to spy on the internal networks of some of the world’s most powerful companies.

If Businessweek’s story checks out (Motherboard does not have independent reporting on the specifics of the allegations), it would be one of the most important and devastating security breaches in history, one that highlights a core weakness baked into American capitalism. It could have major ramifications not only in the security industry but in international relations. It’s worth noting that the companies involved have vehemently denied any knowledge of the attack, and both Apple and Amazon have flatly—and forcefully—denied that they have ever found any servers that have been attacked in the way described in the article.

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What does Chi-Fi have to say?

The Chinese have the encryption keys to every piece of equipment manufactured in China.

That is a known fact and that is all there is to the story.

Every single device.

Can’t say I’m surprised.

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ThinkingSapien . . . .

. . . it would be one of the most important and devastating security breaches in history, one that highlights a core weakness baked into American capitalism.

Would we be immune from Chinese hacking if we had “Venezuelan socialism”?

WHY is “American capitalism” the culprit?

God bless.


Not necessarily. Encryption keys on some hardware are generated from other factors; such as a storage device in which the encryption key may be generated from a combination of the user’s selected password and a sequence of numbers generated from some random source such as a quantum indeterminacy unit. In the case of some asymmetric algorithms (such as when there are a separate encryption and decryption key) having the key on the device doesn’t have much potential by itself; the other key which isn’t stored on the device would be needed to execute malicious actions.

That in no way makes this an issues that isn’t serious. But the “shape” of this security problem may be different than what one might think.

I knew we couldn’t trust the Cylons- I mean Chicoms…

Wish I could find a clip of the Vipers actually being shut down and destroyed by the Cylons in the opening surprise attack.

Edit: ahaha! About 1:20

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