Amazon, Apple and government agencies deny Bloomberg’s hacking story

Late last week, Bloomberg released a bombshell report arguing that operatives from China’s People’s Liberation Army had hacked hardware used by Apple and Amazon. But in the days that have followed, numerous reports have emerged which contradict Bloomberg’s claims.

First came the denials by Apple and Amazon. Both tech firms vehemently denied Bloomberg’s reporting. Apple denied that it ever had any contact with the FBI regarding an investigation into this manner, and says that the company has found no evidence of the hacks which Bloomberg has reported.

“On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” the press release reads. “Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.”

Amazon has also publicly denied Bloomberg’s charges claiming that there were so many inaccuracies in Bloomberg’s initial story that it would be difficult to refute all of them in a single post. The company insisted that it takes security very seriously and says that it “never found modified hardware or malicious chips in Elemental servers. Aside from that, we never found modified hardware or malicious chips in servers in any of our data centers.”

In addition to the denials by both companies, agencies of the U.S. and U.K. governments have spoken out against Bloomberg’s story. On October 5, representatives of the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) spoke out in defense of Apple and Amazon’s security measures.

“We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS and Apple,” a representative of the NCSC said.

When news of this story first broke, U.S. intelligence agencies were relatively quiet about the matter. However, on Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security released a statement expressing agreement with the NCSC’s assessment of the situation.

“The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise,” the press release reads. “Like our partners in the U.K., the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story.”

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