Supermicro CEO Joins Cook in Calling for Bloomberg to Retract Supply Chain Hack Story

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook called on Bloomberg to retract a highly controversial story suggesting Chinese spies planted microchips in the Supermicro server motherboards used in Apple's data facilities, saying there was no truth to Bloomberg's claims.

Today, Supermicro Charles Liang joined Cook in calling for a retraction. In a statement shared by CNBC, Liang said that Supermicro has not found malicious hardware components in its products, nor has Bloomberg produced an affected Supermicro motherboard. Bloomberg, he says, should "act responsibly" and retract its "unsupported allegations."


Liang's full statement:

Supermicro is committed to making world-class servers and storage products. Bloomberg's recent story has created unwarranted confusion and concern for our customers, and has caused our customers, and us, harm.

Bloomberg should act responsibly and retract its unsupported allegations that malicious hardware components were implanted on our motherboards during the manufacturing process.

The allegations imply there are a large number of affected motherboards. Bloomberg has not produced a single affected motherboard, we have seen no malicious hardware components in our products, no government agency has contacted us about malicious hardware components, and no customer has reported finding any malicious hardware components, either.

Supermicro, like Apple and other companies involved, has denied all of Bloomberg's claims since the story was first released. Supermicro previously said it was not aware of any investigation nor any companies that had found illicit hardware in their Supermicro products.

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy also spoke out against Bloomberg today, saying that the story is "wrong about Amazon, too." Like Cook, Jassy says Bloomberg at no point offered proof or listened to what Amazon had to say about the situation.


Cook last week said that Apple "turned the company upside down" and dug "very deep" but could find absolutely no evidence that such an attack took place. "Each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen," said Cook. "There's no truth to this."

Since Bloomberg released its report, Apple has refuted the site's claims in multiple clearly worded statements denying it happened. Bloomberg continues to stand by its original reporting, which, citing 17 sources, said Apple, Amazon, and other tech companies had purchased and installed Supermicro servers that had been tampered with by the Chinese government.

Along with Apple, Amazon, and Supermicro, multiple other sources have cast doubt on the information shared in Bloomberg's story. The UK's Cyber Security Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, former FBI general counsel James Baker, and NSA Senior Advisor Rob Joyce, for example, have all questioned the veracity of Bloomberg's claims and have denied knowledge of such an investigation.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
22 months ago

Regardless of many ways Apple and Supermicro denied Bloomberg's claim; neither of them denied in a direct way; something like "Our servers are NOT impacted, they do not have any hacked spy chips".

Instead
Cook said "there's no truth to their claim"
Liang said "they should retract its unsupported allegations"

I really don't understand the dodging! If you're clean, why not claim your cleanliness the most convincing way and say "we are not hacked"?


Side note about Supermicro.... they don't make firmware updates to address Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities. I wonder if they want to continue having customers their new products. Just wondering...

Wait, so Apple said:

Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.

How's that not a direct rebuttal????
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

Regardless of many ways Apple and Supermicro denied Bloomberg's claim; neither of them denied in a direct way; something like "Our servers are NOT impacted, they do not have any hacked spy chips".

Instead
Cook said "there's no truth to their claim"
Liang said "they should retract its unsupported allegations"

I really don't understand the dodging! If you're clean, why not claim your cleanliness the most convincing way and say "we are not hacked"?


Side note about Supermicro.... they don't make firmware updates to address Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities. I wonder if they want to continue having customers their new products. Just wondering...

Jesus, god- there’s reaching, and then there’s REALLY reaching, then there’s being abnormally desperate for a conspiracy theory to be true, then there’s.... well, I don’t actually know, but there’s at least two or three more levels before we hit where your comment lays.

You are honestly pitching the idea that a hack occurred, and while Amazon, Apple, & Supermicro are all denying it- they are each, individually, or in collusion- trying to leave a sliver of deniability, in case it ever comes to light that they’re lying through their teeth, they’ll have some slim “parsing of words” type of meager defense of what would be a fairly egregious & heinous act?

This is a BIZARRE theory! None of these companies would be looked down upon for falling victim to an uber-sophisticated tech scheme... people would be far more enraged w/ the perpetrators. However, if it came to light that these companies (in particular, the only two American companies to ever crack trillion dollar valuation) would rather openly lie, mislead, and dupe their customers (w/ nothing to gain.... not financially, nor are they in any legal danger), than just admit it... like Facebook, Equifax, Yahoo, ticketfly, etc. - it would have the downside ability to destroy said companies- their reputation, their stock price, they’d be forever tainted... for what??!! Bragging rights that they didn’t get hacked, when they actually did?
Your story is an INCREDIBLY hard sell. It makes zero sense, on any level.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Here, Bloomberg, if we're making things up, I've animated your hack explanation to show how China infiltrated pencils. It's not true, but who cares, right?



Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago

Why is this thread in PSR? It is a tech story.

Because the discourse in this place gets real stupid real fast when anything is even vaguely political.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Regardless of many ways Apple and Supermicro denied Bloomberg's claim; neither of them denied in a direct way; something like "Our servers are NOT impacted, they do not have any hacked spy chips".

Instead
Cook said "there's no truth to their claim"
Liang said "they should retract its unsupported allegations"

I really don't understand the dodging! If you're clean, why not claim your cleanliness the most convincing way and say "we are not hacked"?


Side note about Supermicro.... they don't make firmware updates to address Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities. I wonder if they want to continue having customers their new products. Just wondering...
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Businesses should start shunning Bloomberg, until and unless they start conducting themselves in a responsible and professional manner.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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