It has been reported that server motherboards made by Supermicro in China have been found to carry a “spy chip”. This development is the result of a 2015 US government investigation that was unearthed by Bloomberg. The allegations are that the Chinese government has been using hardware-based spyware in Supermicro motherboards that are manufactured in China to spy on major U.S. companies including Amazon Web Services and Apple, who use Supermicro motherboards in their data-centers.
Both Apple and Amazon have posted strong denials that their hardware infrastructure is vulnerable to foreign government surveillance. Apple has said, “We are deeply disappointed that in their dealings with us, Bloomberg’s reporters have not been open to the possibility that they or their sources might be wrong or misinformed. Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs. That one-time event was determined to be accidental and not a targeted attack against Apple.”
Amazon Web Services statement was, “As we shared with Bloomberg BusinessWeek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems.”
The Chinese government has also released the following statement, “China is a resolute defender of cybersecurity”.