In fictional movies, books, we have read several times how an enemy infiltrates a country by hacking the supply chain of arms or medicines. A tiny bacteria hidden somewhere in the packet of medicines causing bio-war, and triggering a full-fledged battle.
Something of that sort has actually happened in the US by China, and the medium which has been used is tiny chips.
This is turning out to be the most incredible story of espionage ever reported, using technology as the platform.
Chinese Govt. Hacked Amazo, Apple Servers?
Bloomberg has reported that in a deliberate attempt to spy on some of the leading US companies, Chinese Govt. intentionally planted small, tiny micro-chips inside the servers of a company called SuperMicro.
As per the allegations, few members of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which govern China placed microchips into the motherboard of servers, manufactured by SuperMicro.
These servers were then shipped to companies like Amazon, Google, and 30 other technological behemoths.
Hence, as per the report, Chinese Govt. was able to listen, track and snoop into these servers using the chips.
Supply Chain Hacked? What Are The Possibilities?
This is a perfect example of a supply-chain hack – A hack wherein a tiny component is either inserted or edited in the supply chain of a product.
Using the chips, a “stealth doorway” was created, which was exploited by the Chinese Govt. and spies to know what these technological majors are up to.
Some rumors also state that some of these servers were used by US Govt., which makes this matter even more serious.
Apple, Amazon Deny This Spy Theory
As soon as the news broke out, Amazon and Apple, two of the biggest companies where these compromised servers were used, have strongly denied any such spy theory.
In a blog post, Amazon said, “At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any [Amazon subsidiary] Elemental or Amazon systems,”
Elemental Systems was a company which Amazon acquired in 2015, and they had several Govt contracts at that time. As per the report, these tiny chips inside the servers were discovered in 2015, when Amazon was planning to acquire Elemental Systems, and was reported to FBI.
As of now, Amazon and Apple, both have removed all servers from SuperMicro. Although why Apple removed the servers have not been mentioned in the report.
At its peak, Amazon used 7000+ SuperMicro servers.
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