Pencil Tip Sized Chinese Spying Chips Found hidden on Servers of US Companies
A recent media report uncovered the planting of Chinese Spying Chips in servers used by several US-based companies including Apple and Amazon. The Chip can bypass all security checks and give Chinese government a complete backdoor into these companies’ networks.
Bloomberg published a lengthy report about a tiny surveillance chip that is as small as sharpen pencil tip. It was reportedly found hidden on servers used by nearly 30 American companies including Apple and Amazon.
The chip was found on motherboards supplied by Super Micro Computer Inc., a San Jose-based company. As per claims, the Chip was added during the manufacturing process in China. This chip was small and was designed to do two complex tasks. First one is to communicate with one of several anonymous computers located elsewhere on the Internet and second one is to prepare the device’s operating system to accept this new code sent by the anonymous computer the chip was communicating to.
The report claims that the Chinese government-affiliated groups managed to infiltrate the supply chain and installed this surveillance chips to motherboards. Serves with infected motherboard were deployed by U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies, and many U.S. companies like Apple and Amazon.
Apple discovered the suspicious chips inside Supermicro servers around may 2015 after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. Amazon also found it during the same time period but both the companies strongly refute the claims.
After the report came into the public domain, Supermicro and Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have also strongly denied Bloomberg’s findings and issued a public statement.