Apple CEO demands Bloomberg retract its Chinese surveillance story

Apple had long denied that it had purchased compromised servers manufactured in China that would have made it a victim to government surveillance after Bloomberg Businessweek broke the story, and now CEO Tim Cook is demanding the publication to retract its report. The publication alleged that the compromised servers, discovered as early as 2015, would have given China a backdoor into the private networks of U.S. corporations and government agencies and that Apple had severed its relationship with San Jose, California-based Super Micro as a result of this breach of trust.

“I feel they should retract their story,” Cook told Buzzfeed about the Bloomberg story. “There is no truth in their story about Apple. They need to do that right thing.” Cook also took issue at lack of evidence in Bloomberg’s report. Cook said that Bloomberg reporters did not provide his company with specific details about the chips that were alleged to have been discovered and removed.

Following Bloomberg’s report, Apple conducted a thorough internal investigation, with Cook claiming that Apple “turned the company upside down.” Ultimately, Apple was unable to find any evidence after “email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records.”

“I was involved in our response to this story from the beginning,” Cook told Buzzfeed. “I personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with Bruce Sewell, who was then our general counsel. We were very clear with them that this did not happen, and answered all their questions. Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed, and each time we investigated we found nothing.”

Bloomberg claimed that Apple, Amazon, and as many as 30 U.S. businesses and government agencies, had purchased compromised servers from Super Micro that contained an embedded chip allowing Chinese surveillance. Apple, Amazon, and Super Micro also refuted Bloomberg’s story following their own internal investigations.

Cook’s denial mirrors earlier statements released by Apple Vice President of Information Security George Stathakopoulos in a prior letter sent to U.S. lawmakers addressing the issue.

“Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found,” he wrote in the letter to both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, quoted by Reuters. Apple’s assertions were previously supported by Britain’s Cyber Security Center and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Bloomberg defended its story, noting that its report was a result of more than a year of investigation and conducting more than 100 interviews. “Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks,” Bloomberg Businessweek told Buzzfeed. “We also published three companies’ full statements, as well as a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources.”

Updated on October 19, 2018: Apple CEO Tim Cook refutes the Bloomberg story, demands a retraction. 

Product Review

Kill a Nazi while skiing in ’Battlefield V: War Stories’

World War II is hardly a unique setting for a shooter, but Battlefield V’s War Stories has managed to liven it up. Our preview left us eager to see more of the new Battlefield’s single-player story.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Deepfake A.I. puts a young Harrison Ford into ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

A video created using the A.I.-driven Deepfake image-synthesis technique offers a look at what Solo: A Star Wars Story would have looked like with a young Harrison Ford in the lead role.
Gaming

PS4 ‘Spider-Man’ game gets ‘The Heist’ DLC, new costumes on October 23

The first downloadable content pack for Marvel's Spider-Man, The Heist, is out October 23. The pack adds three new suits for Spider-Man to wear, and its story focuses on Felicia Hardy.
Computing

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.
Computing

There’s now proof that quantum computing is superior to the classical variety

For the first time in computer science history, researchers have tangibly demonstrated how a quantum computer is better than a classical computer. A quantum computer was able to solve a math problem that a classical PC cannot.
Product Review

Dell’s G3 Gaming laptop knows what gamers want, and what they can live without

Compromise and budget gaming laptops go hand-in-hand, but with the G3, Dell has figured out how to balance what gamers want with what they can live without.
Computing

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Computing

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.
Product Review

Amid a new fleet of budget laptops, the ZenBook 13 sails where others sink

It’s never been truer that you don’t need to spend over a thousand bucks to buy a good laptop. The ZenBook 13 takes we’ve always loved about its predecessor and makes enough small refinements to keep it ahead of its competitors.
Computing

Protect your digital identity with these four easy steps to online anonymity

You don't have to be a secret agent or a notorious hacktivist to care about anonymity. Consult this guide to learn tips, tricks, and best practices for staying anonymous and keeping your online activity private
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

How does Samsung's new 2-in-1 stack up against the tried-and-true Surface Pro 6?

We're the stacking Surface Pro 6 and Galaxy Book 2 up against each other in this head-to-head. Both of these devices share a similar form factor and design, but be it LTE connectivity or difference in pricing, each offers up its own pros…
Social Media

How to turn off Safe Mode in Tumblr

If you've joined Tumblr after hearing tales about the social network's more adult communities, you may be disappointed by how family-friendly it seems. Here's how to turn off "Safe Search" in Tumblr and delve into the site's seedy…