Investigation Into Supermicro's Server Motherboards Finds No Malicious Spy Hardware

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In October, a report by Bloomberg claimed that spies working for the Chinese government had inserted microchips on Supermicro server motherboards to spy on customers, which Bloomberg reported as affecting Apple and nearly 30 companies in total. Today, the outside investigations firm hired by Supermicro reported its findings, confirming that there is no evidence of any malicious hardware in current or old Supermicro server motherboards, including those used by Apple for iCloud (via Reuters).


    Supermicro denied the allegations made in the Bloomberg report when it came out, and in today's letter to its customers said it was not surprised by the new findings. The investigation was performed by global firm Nardello & Co., which tested samples of motherboards in current production, as well as versions that were specifically sold to Apple and Amazon since both of those companies were mentioned directly by Bloomberg.

    Nardello & Co. also examined software and design files, and didn't find any unauthorized components or signals being sent out from Supermicro. Customers interested will be able to ask for more details about the investigation, and Supermicro as of now is still reviewing its legal options following the investigation.

    The day that "The Big Hack" article came out, Apple quickly released a statement, denying all claims made about the microchips spying on customers. "On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server," Apple said in its statement.

    Eventually both Apple CEO Tim Cook and Supermicro CEO Charles Liang called on Bloomberg to retract the story. Talking to BuzzFeed News, Cook said there is "no truth" to Bloomberg's claims about Apple. As of today, the story remains online.

    Article Link: Investigation Into Supermicro's Server Motherboards Finds No Malicious Spy Hardware
  2. Mansu944 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2012
    But there’s no such thing as fake news. I don’t expect reporters to be 100% right...but this just smells like sensationalism on the part of the news outlet.
  3. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
  4. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    I think it’s time for Bloomberg to get some unnamed sources to agree to be named or take the story down. Literally nobody and nothing backs them up at this point.
  5. Dustin Lenzz macrumors newbie

    Dustin Lenzz

    Sep 13, 2018
    ...Maybe Bloomberg’s financial reporting on Apple is equivalent to its ‘investigative’ reporting on Apple/Apple’s suppliers...
  6. jimothyGator, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018

    jimothyGator macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm not lawyer, but I'd be surprised if Supermicro or its shareholders don't have a libel case against Bloomberg. From what I've read on this subject, it looks like Bloomberg was extremely careless in their reporting.

    Shares in the company dropped nearly 50% the day the story was published. They've recovered somewhat since then (and we'll see what today brings), but the price is still well below it's level before Bloomberg's story.

    Apple and others might also have a case, but based on stock price, Supermicro was the one most affected.
  7. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Not just take it down but print a retraction as well.
  8. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    That was some wild disinformation campaign. You've gotta wonder what the goal was.
  9. MacManiac1 macrumors member


    Sep 7, 2017
    I think you are 100% correct. Unless Bloomberg has some proof that they haven’t shared yet, they should pay a price for this disinformation that is destroying companies.
  10. cwanja macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    The piece missing from this article is just that - Supermicro is looking into legal action (at least from reporting on other blogs)
  11. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

    May 31, 2015
    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    Bloomberg needs to be sued to set a precedent for dangerous fake news that can affect other companies financially.
  12. Dave245 macrumors 603


    Sep 15, 2013
    At this point Bloomberg seriously need to print a retraction and apologise! They clearly got this one wrong.
  13. brendu, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2018

    brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    And Michael Bloomberg... Start by owning your company’s mistake. Admit your people were wrong, issue an apology, and push your people to do better.
  14. Zorn macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2006
    I'm not sure at this point what Bloomberg has to gain from digging their heels in on this one. It's almost indisputable that if their story was accurate, one of the millions of Supermicro servers out there in data centers or with customers would have been taken apart and the "spy chip" shown to the world. There would be a massive motive for any security researcher or firm to find one of these modified servers and ample supply/opportunity to do so, and yet absolutely nothing.
  15. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
    Fake news. Macrumors forum posters told me it was Apple's lie.
  16. Sasparilla, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2018

    Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2012
    Truly bizarre. Makes one wonder if Bloomberg was the victim of a political disinformation campaign.
  17. TonnyM macrumors member

    Oct 5, 2017
    When you're only job as a journalist is telling the truth and raporting the facts and you're failing so bad, there's so excuse. We deserve better than being manipulated and lied to.
  18. scottwaugh macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2002
    Maybe this thread belongs in the political forum? Its got politics written all over it. (most especially so people commenting on it don't get into trouble)

    "In October, a report by Bloomberg claimed that spies working for the Chinese government"
  19. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    This keeps happening to the two writers named for the Bloomberg article. In five years they’ve had a few stories that couldn’t be proven. Could it be there are no sources? I don’t know if they are making up their stories, but it’s an explanation certainly worth investigating.
  20. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    Very true. Sadly, though, "journalism" today is just a euphamism for "making headlines" and doesn't require any of those pesky facts or logic. Even if Bloomberg printed a full retraction, unless it was a full-front-page very few people would notice and even fewer would read it. The damage is done.

    NOTE: there are still many people in the journalism profession that have integrity in their work, but... those aren't the people making headlines.
  21. az431 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Libel requires proof that the person who made this statement knew that it was false when it was made. The fact that the statement was false is not enough by itself.

    Here Bloomberg relied on outside sources. Even if that reliance was misplaced or negligent, it doesn’t satisfy the knowledge requirement.
  22. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    There are sources, but odds are they’re spooks with a certain agenda.
  23. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Agreed. At this point every piece of new evidence is just eroding Bloomberg's credibility. They need to offer better evidence or retract and be done with it.
  24. jimothyGator macrumors regular


    Jun 12, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Could a claim be made that they now know it to be false (based on this investigation) and by failing to issue a retraction, they’re committing libel? It’ll be up to people wiser and wealthier than me to decide.
  25. td2243 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    Of course they didn’t find anything. It was the Russians!!! ;)

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