China Hacked Supermicro Servers to Spy on Amazon, Apple, Report Says

JESSICA LYONS HARDCASTLE | October 4, 2018

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In a scene straight out of a spy movie, the Chinese government inserted tiny malicious chips into Supermicro servers used by Amazon, Apple, and other large American companies and federal agencies, according a Bloomberg report.Citing U.S. national security officials, Bloomberg says a Chinese military unit designed and manufactured the chips, which are as small as a grain of rice. The microchips were then inserted into motherboards at Chinese factories that supplied Supermicro, one of the largest data center server vendors in the world. Think of Supermicro as the Microsoft of the hardware world,” a former U.S. intelligence official told Bloomberg. “Attacking Supermicro motherboards is like attacking Windows. It’s like attacking the whole world.”Once the affected servers were switched on, they altered the operating system to accept modifications from remote computers and waited for further instructions and code. China’s goal was to steal corporate secrets and infiltrate U.S. government networks.

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