Tim Cook calls on Bloomberg to retract Chinese spy chip claims

Mae Love
October 21, 2018

Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook on Friday told an online news website that Bloomberg should retract a story that claimed Apple's internal computer systems had been infiltrated by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence agents.

In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Cook said: "There is no truth in their story about Apple". Affirms that the environment must do the right thing and recognize that they have made a mistake.

Bloomberg found that Chinese spies managed to implant tiny chips on computer motherboards made by Supermicro Computer and put in servers used by several of the largest USA tech companies, including Amazon and Apple.

Bloomberg also stated that its report include some 30 companies and multiple U.S. government agencies which were claimed to have been targeted by the chips.

According to Buzzfeed, Tim Cook said, "This did not happen".

Apple published a strongly worded denial of the story shortly after its publication.

Bloomberg has faced strong pushback from the affected companies, including Amazon, and U.S. government officials, who say they've found no evidence of the secret Chinese spy chip. Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed, and each time we investigated we found nothing ...

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Bloomberg didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

One expert quoted in the story by name, Joe Fitzpatrick, spoke to Bloomberg during the reporting process about the general form of an attack as described in the article.

Still, Bloomberg hold steadfast on its story and even published a follow-up account that furthered its original claims. The media house says it dove into the case for over a year and interviewed over 100 sources including government officials and company insiders.

Bloomberg's Businessweek published a story which said malicious chips were built into servers that had been manufactured in China.

"We turned the company upside down", Cook said.

The story was explosive right away, detailing how worldwide spies had managed to find a way on the hardware level to access these companies, with the obvious implications being a major security breach. "Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records".

Bloomberg said it based its information on 17 unnamed sources in the technology field and within government for its story.

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