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Apple CEO Tim Cook Urges Bloomberg To Retract Chinese Spy Chips Story

Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to "be careful what you read" in reference to the report, BuzzFeed News said

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Apple reports 20% increase in quarterly revenue. Pixabay
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Apple CEO Tim Cook is urging Bloomberg to retract its story about an alleged embedded Chinese spying chips that compromised about 30 companies including the servers of Apple.

BuzzFeed News said Friday that the Apple CEO, who received an interview with the news outlet on Thursday, went on the record for the first time to deny allegations that his company was the victim of a hardware-based attack from a Chinese supplier and demanded Bloomberg retract the unfounded story, reports Xinhua news agency.

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook told BuzzFeed News. “They need to do that right thing and retract it.”Bloomberg Businessweek issued a story earlier this month alleging about 30 US companies were compromised after their servers were implanted malicious chips during their manufacture in China, which created “a stealth backdoor” into their network running on the servers.

Apple denied in an October 4 statement that it had found the “malicious chips” in servers on its network, saying it refuted “virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’ s story relating to Apple”.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, Wikimedia
Apple CEO Tim Cook, Wikimedia

“Apple has never found malicious chips, hardware manipulations or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” it said.In the latest response to the Bloomberg claims, Cook said he “was involved in our response to this story from the beginning”.”I personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with Bruce Sewell, who was then our general counsel.

We were very clear with them that this did not happen, and answered all their questions,” said Cook. “Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed, and each time we investigated we found nothing,” he added.”We turned the company upside down… We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: this did not happen. There’s no truth to this,” Cook said.The Bloomberg’s report has been extensively questioned even by representatives of the companies it claimed to fall victim to the “backdoor” attack.

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Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to “be careful what you read” in reference to the report, BuzzFeed News said.It quoted a high-ranking executive of a tech giant in Silicon Valley as saying that his company has conducted investigations, which didn’ t turn up any evidence of tampering.

“We couldn’t find anything,” he said. “Our assessment is that it didn’t happen.”  (IANS)

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Proposed Tech Export Ban in US Could Affect Apple iPhones

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet

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Proposed technology export ban in US could affect Apple. Flickr Commons

A ban has been proposed in the US on the selling of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), computer vision and iPhone processor technology, which could majorly affect trade, working and research of many tech giants, including Apple.

In Apple’s case, such restrictions on AI technology could hypothetically prevent the company from selling iPhones in specific markets completely, or force it to produce a version with features cut to comply with licensing rules, Apple Insider reported on Monday.

According to a document shared on Twitter by former presidential technology and national security advisor R. David Edelman, the US Bureau of Industry and Security has requested for public comments about the idea of monitoring the sales of certain technologies to other countries.

The filing is a request for public comment on “criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to US national security”, due to the potential of being used as conventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction, terrorist applications, intelligence collection, or “could provide the United States with a qualitative military or intelligence advantage”, the report added.

The technologies are being tested for national security impact including deep learning technologies, computer vision, speech and audio processing, AI cloud technologies, AI chipsets, and the potential for audio and video manipulation technologies.

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An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

Apple covers a number of products and services offered to consumers as well as the ones the company is working on which are based on AI — for example, the natural language processing and AI technologies relate to Siri, along with Apple’s other machine learning work, while computer vision would cover Face ID and vision systems used in Apple’s self-driving vehicle-oriented “Project Titan”.

Other general areas raised include navigation, quantum information, sensing technology, robotics, drones, brain-computer interfaces, advanced materials, advanced surveillance and microprocessor technology.

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American citizens can share their responses on the subject only by December 19 — giving only a one-month window for responses from the public before the Bureau starts pressing the matter further.

There has been no comment from Apple expressing concerns or opinions on the matter as yet. (IANS)