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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday October 10 2018, @11:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the he-said-she-said dept.

Major US telecom was infiltrated by backdoored Supermicro hardware, Bloomberg says

Five days after Bloomberg stunned the world with still-unconfirmed allegations that Chinese spies embedded data-sniffing chips in hardware used by Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies, the news organization is doubling down. Bloomberg is now reporting that a different factory-seeded manipulation from the previously described one was discovered in August inside the network of a major US telecommunications company.

Bloomberg didn't name the company, citing a non-disclosure agreement between the unnamed telecom and the security firm it hired to scan its data centers. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile all told Ars they weren't the telecom mentioned in the Bloomberg post. Verizon and CenturyLink also denied finding backdoored Supermicro hardware in their datacenters, Motherboard reported.

Tuesday's report cites documents, analysis, and other evidence provided by Yossi Appleboum, who is co-CEO of a hardware security firm called Sepio Systems. Bloomberg said that, while Sepio was scanning servers belonging to the unnamed telecom, the firm detected unusual communications from a server designed by Supermicro. Supermicro, according to last week's Bloomberg report, is the hardware manufacturer whose motherboards were modified in the factory to include a tiny microchip that caused attached servers to come under the control of a previously unreported division of China's People's Liberation Army. Supermicro told Bloomberg it had no knowledge of the implant, marking the second time the hardware maker has denied knowing anything about the reported manipulations.

[...] The criticism was still at full pitch on Tuesday morning when Bloomberg published its follow-up article. While it names a single source, some security experts quickly challenged the credibility of the report. "Sure this story has one named source but it technically makes even less sense than the first one," Cris Thomas, a security expert who tweets under the handle SpaceRogue, wrote. "Come on @Bloomberg get somebody who knows what they're talking about to write these stories. Calling BS on this one as well."

Previously: Chinese Spy Chips Allegedly Inserted Into Amazon, Apple, etc. Datacenters by Super Micro
Bloomberg Stands by Chinese Chip Story as Apple, Amazon Ratchet up Denials

Related: Firmware Vulnerabilities in Supermicro Systems
Supermicro Announces Suspension of Trading of Common Stock on Nasdaq and its Intention to Appeal


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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @01:28PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @01:28PM (#746939)

    Just because the boards were manufactured in China doesn't mean this is the fault of someone from there. The oddities of this story make me think apple, etc or at least the people responsible for checking this stuff at those companies were issued gag orders.

    Or maybe bloomberg is just falling for fake news, or this is just propaganda as part of the ongoing transition in who you are supposed to hate/fear from russia to china.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:24PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @02:24PM (#746957)

    The Russia/China split thing is likely due to a conflict in the ruling class. The only thing that is certain is that the focus has moved from "war on terror" to "great power conflict."

    One faction of the ruling class believes that globalist capitalism will be served best by confronting Russia, I'd guess for reasons having to do with access to oil in the Middle East. That faction also blames Russia for "She Lost."

    The other faction wants to drive China into submission and prevent it from usurping the USA's position in the world economy, again in the interests of furthering globalist capitalism.

    Of course, neither of those factions give a shit about the "deplorables" (that's us, the working and middle classes), and both factions support the continued siphoning of wealth from the working and middle classes to the bourgeoisie.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11 2018, @05:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 11 2018, @05:55AM (#747302)

      We've always been at war with EastAsia

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 10 2018, @03:11PM (#746977)

    Good point. This equipment could have just as easily been picked by the fed in customs when it arrived and diddled in one of the NSA's hardware diddling centers. Perhaps the question isn't who got pwnd but who did the pwning.

    Hell the NSA could have done it, AND been the one to leak to the press. End goal would be to pressure various companies to work with them, because they are really "the good guys", and look at the terrible threat from the Communists! It isn't like the FBI hasn't been calling everyone but Mary Poppins a Russian colaborator lately.

    The idea that this is a false flag by the domestic military industrial complex, is certainly plausible. It would be nice if any part of the federal government had the integrity such that it wasn't so. But that is clearly not the case. So at this point, it really doesn't matter who did it, since the only people who really know aren't believable, and their masters have no problem with the idea of starting WWIII just for the lulz.

    Best bet is to fix it, ignore the drama, and move on.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by redneckmother on Wednesday October 10 2018, @04:38PM (1 child)

    by redneckmother (3597) on Wednesday October 10 2018, @04:38PM (#747016)

    "We have always been at war with Eurasia."

    --
    Mas cerveza por favor.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:44PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 10 2018, @05:44PM (#747055) Journal

      No it is Eastasia you ignert foal! Quick! Someone call the Ministry of Truth!

      --
      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.