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Homeland Security backs Apple and Amazon’s denials of Chinese microchip hack

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‘We have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story’

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Following last week’s bombshell report from Bloomberg Businessweek that claimed that Chinese spies infiltrated commercial servers in the US with hidden microchips, the Department of Homeland Security says that it has “no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story.”

The statement concurs with what UK cybersecurity officials said on Friday: that they were aware of the reports, but didn’t have any reason to doubt Amazon and Apple’s forceful denials that their systems were compromised. DHS notes that it is aware of the report, and said that it recently launched several “government-industry initiatives to develop near- and long-term solutions to manage risk posed by the complex challenges of increasingly global supply chains.”

Last week, Bloomberg Businessweek’s report cited current and former US Intelligence officials, who claimed that Chinese spies worked to place microchips into servers, allowing them access to systems. The report claims that Apple and Amazon discovered the microchips and reported them to US authorities. But both companies have denied the story. Cybersecurity experts have warned that such a threat does exist, and that it could be difficult to defend against. But in the wake of the report’s publication, skepticism has built as the companies involved, and government agencies have pushed back on its allegations.