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Apple and Amazon Deny Chinese ‘spy’ Chips Into Their Network

According to Apple, its digital assistant Siri and social search and analytics company Topsy never shared servers

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The logo of Amazon, online retailer is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France. VOA

Apple and Amazon have strongly denied a media report that claimed a massive “supply chain attack” by Chinese spies planted chips in motherboards in data servers bought by these two giants among 30 tech companies.

Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday reported that malicious chips — as small as a sharpened pencil tip — were planted by a unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to gain access to the supply chain of a firm called Super Micro, known as the “Microsoft of the hardware world”.

According to the report, Apple discovered suspicious chips in its servers in 2015.

The Cupertino-based iPhone maker replied it has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.

“The October 8, 2018 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek incorrectly reports that Apple found “malicious chips” in servers on its network in 2015. As Apple has repeatedly explained to Bloomberg reporters and editors over the past 12 months, there is no truth to these claims,” Apple said in a statement.

Apple
Apple, Amazon deny Chinese ‘spy’ chips into their network. Flickr Commons

“Over the course of the past year, Bloomberg has contacted us multiple times with claims, sometimes vague and sometimes elaborate, of an alleged security incident at Apple.

“Each time, we have conducted rigorous internal investigations based on their inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them,” Apple said.

“Apple never had any contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement,” the tech giant added.

According to Apple, its digital assistant Siri and social search and analytics company Topsy never shared servers.

“Siri has never been deployed on servers sold to us by Super Micro; and Topsy data was limited to approximately 2,000 Super Micro servers, not 7,000. None of those servers have ever been found to hold malicious chips,” said Apple.

Amazon,com. Flickr
Amazon.com, Flickr

According to Apple, its 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”.

According to Steve Schmidt, Chief Information Security Officer at Amazon Web Services (AWS) which is Amazon’s Cloud arm, “there are so many inaccuracies in “this article as it relates to Amazon that they are hard to count”.

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“Amazon employs stringent security standards across our supply chain – investigating all hardware and software prior to going into production and performing regular security audits internally and with our supply chain partners,” Schmidt said in a statement.

“We further strengthen our security posture by implementing our own hardware designs for critical components such as processors, servers, storage systems, and networking equipment,” he added. (IANS)

Next Story

Tech Giant Apple Becomes One of The Fastest-Growing Brands in India

The Cupertino-based tech giant is fast selling almost all products -- iPhones, Apple Watch, Mac desktops and AirPods Pro -- apart from a growing Apple TV community in India

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Apple still continues to be an aspirational brand in India and the success of the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 indicates that Apple can grow faster in India provided with the right channel and pricing strategy in place. Pixabay

Riding on the strong demand for iPhone XR and iPhone 11, Apple became one of the fastest-growing brands in India in the fourth quarter of 2019, capturing 2 per cent market share with a year-on-year growth of 41 per cent, Counterpoint Research said on Friday.

On an annual level, Apple shipments are set to rebound in India during 2019 with an estimated growth (YoY) of 6 per cent.

“This is compared to a 43 per cent decline it had during 2018, thanks to the price correction of iPhone XR, revamped channel strategy and expansion of local manufacturing in India,” Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.

The initial strong demand for the iPhone 11 series was driven by aggressive pricing, promotional and channel strategy. “The EMI along with cashback offers on iPhone 11 series especially iPhone 11 did well during the important festive launch,” Pathak added.

Additionally, the fastest ever roll-out in India ahead during the festive season led to the strong initial shipments. In fact, price cut on iPhone XR immediately made it the best selling iPhone within Apple portfolio for two successive quarters (Q2 2019, and Q3 2019).

Apple
Riding on the strong demand for iPhone XR and iPhone 11, Apple became one of the fastest-growing brands in India in the fourth quarter of 2019, capturing 2 per cent market share with a year-on-year growth of 41 per cent, Counterpoint Research said on Friday. Pixabay

The Cupertino-based tech giant is fast selling almost all products — iPhones, Apple Watch, Mac desktops and AirPods Pro — apart from a growing Apple TV community in India. The reason for Apple’s rise lies in a better understanding of a market that requires unique customer strategies and mind games, not seen in other, more evolved smartphone territories.

“Apple still continues to be an aspirational brand in India and the success of the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 indicates that Apple can grow faster in India provided with the right channel and pricing strategy in place,” said Pathak.

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iPhone XR is being manufactured at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai and iPhone 7 and 6S being assembled at supplier Wistron’s facility in Bengaluru. (IANS)