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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
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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.

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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”.

Also Read- E-cigarettes Are 95% Less Risky Than Conventional Cigarettes: Experts

“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)

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China Bans iPhone Sales Due to Patent Dispute

China's court decision is the latest legal action in a long-running dispute between the California tech giants.

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The Apple iPhone 7 is displayed at an Apple store at the Grove in Los Angeles, California. VOA

A Chinese court has ordered a ban in the country on most iPhone sales because of a patent dispute between iPhone maker Apple and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court granted Qualcomm’s request for preliminary injunctions against four subsidiaries of Apple, ordering them to immediately stop selling the iPhone 6S through the iPhone X that use older versions of Apple’s iOS operating system, according to a statement from Qualcomm Monday.

Apple said in a statement Monday its iPhones using newer operating systems remain on sale in China.

Apple, chinese
This Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, photo shows from left the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone XR in New York. The new XR phone has a larger display and loses the home button to make room for more screen. VOA

The Chinese court found Apple violated two of Qualcomm’s software patents involving resizing photographs and managing applications on a touch screen.
Apple shares fell Monday on the news.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in its statement.

Qualcomm’s general counsel, Don Rosenberg, said in a statement Monday “Apple continues to benefit from our intellectual property while refusing to compensate us. These court orders are further confirmation of the strength of Qualcomm’s vast patent portfolio.”

Qualcomm, Chinese
– The logo for Qualcomm appears on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York. VOA

China’s court decision is the latest legal action in a long-running dispute between the California tech giants.

Also Read: China Warns Canada Against Severe Consequences If Huawei CFO Isn’t Released

Qualcomm has also asked regulators in the United States to ban several iPhone models over patent disputes, however U.S. officials have so far declined to do so. (VOA)