China watched the US with spy chips
Chinese military intelligence used US-supplied espionage computer equipment. Spy chips were secretly embedded in motherboards designed for servers of major companies.
A number of the world’s largest companies used equipment with spy chips embedded in it. This is the story ofBloomberg Businessweek in a voluminous journalistic investigation. In total, there are almost 30 enterprises in the list, including Amazon (AWS, in particular) and Apple. Among them are companies that fulfill government orders and have access to closed data. Among other things, we are talking about the “clouds” for storing data from the CIA.
It is assumed that the chips were installed at the production stage, and not during the transportation of server equipment (more precisely, components for it) to customers in the United States. Imported compromised equipment allegedly engaged the American company Super Micro, which specializes in assembling server hardware. It was she who used the motherboards from subcontractors from China. They, in turn, are responsible for installing the chips.
The chip responsible for gathering information is highlighted all around (click to enlarge)
The sources of Businessweek were current and former officials from among senior NSA employees, as well as insiders from Apple and Amazon. According to them, the invasion was recorded in 2015 on its own, after which an investigation was initiated.
Now Amazon, Apple and Super Micro categorically deny the information contained in the material Businessweek, Apple directly states: no chips were found. The publication, in turn, emphasizes that it took a year to prepare the report, during which more than 100 interviews were conducted.
The chips were placed on motherboards by a special service of the People’s Liberation Army of China. The scouts used for this bribes and threats, seeking changes in the original design of the boards. The chips were located near the controller, which allowed to get remote access to the computer’s memory.
The fact of espionage was also announced by Vice President Mike Pence in his speech at the Hudson Institute. He said that Russia’s intervention in the affairs of the United States “fades in comparison with what China is doing.”