Apple CEO Tim Cook asks Bloomberg to retract story on Chinese spy chips: Report

Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to "be careful what you read".

  • Published: October 20, 2018 1:49 PM IST
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Image credit: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook is urging a noted news agency to retract its story about alleged embedded Chinese spying chips that compromised about 30 companies including the servers of Apple. According to a recent report on October 19, Apple CEO, Tim Cook went on the record for the first time to deny allegations that his company was the victim of a hardware-based attack from a Chinese supplier. Cook demanded the news agency to retract the unfounded story as there was no truth to it.

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook told BuzzFeed News during the interview. “They need to do that right thing and retract it.” Bloomberg Businessweek issued a story earlier this month alleging about 30 US companies were compromised after their servers were implanted malicious chips during their manufacture in China. This Chip created “a stealth backdoor” into their network running on the servers. Apple denied this claim in an October 4 statement that it had found the “malicious chips” in servers on its network, saying it refuted “virtually every aspect of Bloomberg‘s story relating to Apple”.

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Apple has never found malicious chips, hardware manipulations or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” it said. In the latest response to the Bloomberg claims, Cook said he “was involved in our response to this story from the beginning”. “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,” said Cook.  “Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed, and each time we investigated we found nothing,” he added.

“We turned the company upside down… We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: this did not happen. There’s no truth to this,” Cook said.

The Bloomberg‘s report has been extensively questioned even by representatives of the companies it claimed to fall victim to the “backdoor” attack. Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to “be careful what you read” in reference to the report, BuzzFeed News said.

It quoted a high-ranking executive of a tech giant in Silicon Valley as saying that his company has conducted investigations, which didn’t turn up any evidence of tampering. “We couldn’t find anything,” he said. “Our assessment is that it didn’t happen.”

With inputs from IANS

  • Published Date: October 20, 2018 1:49 PM IST