Motherboard Bits that Bite

A recent post by Bloomburg has recently gone viral, it reports that Amazon and Apple (A&A) were hacked by using compromised hardware manufactured in China. Allegedly, microchips the size of a pencil tip were embedded in the motherboard of thousands of servers used by A&A. These servers were made by a company called Super Micro. But, A&A are both adamant about denying that the hack ever happened in the first place. Apple goes on to provide a potential explanation for Bloomberg’s mixup stating, “Our best guess is that they are confusing their story with a previously-reported 2016 incident in which we discovered an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in one of our labs.” Bloomberg says they have detailed accounts from 3 Apple insiders and 4 U.S. Officials stating that Apple’s hardware was infected.

Both companies have a lot to lose. Amazon’s AWS is used by the CIA and many of the largest U.S companies. Millions of people sync their mobile and desktop data to Apple’s cloud. Stock prices also play a big role since both A&A are at their highest levels since their inception, yet even after the “news” broke, their prices remain firm. However, the same cannot be said about Super Micro. They were valued at $21 dollars yesterday. After the news broke out today, they hit a low of $9.55 and bounced back to around $12. China also has a lot to lose, most estimates state that they make about 90% of the world’s computers. At this point it’s all speculative, maybe our intelligence agencies were able to detect the compromised hardware before it was deployed and used it to feed the Chinese disinformation. Maybe our own government is responsible and we’re using the Chinese as a scapegoat. One thing is for certain, if you want your data to be secure, you’re better off using a typewriter.

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