Apple CEO urges Bloomberg to retract Chinese spy chip story

Apple CEO Tim Cook                  James Martin  CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook James Martin CNET

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called on Bloomberg to retract its story that claims that Chinese spies compromised the Cupertino-based technology giant's server by using malicious microchips. Now, for the first time, Apple is asking Bloomberg to retract the report. "They need to do that right thing", Cook said Thursday.

A report from Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this month said Chinese spy chips were allegedly used to gather intellectual property and trade secrets from the iPhone maker and Amazon Web Services, an Amazon subsidiary that provides cloud computing services.

Recall that in early October, Bloomberg, citing its sources reported that the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly found in the computers and gadgets Apple and Amazon spy chips installed during the build by the Chinese.

However, Cook said the reports were false.

Apple issued a detailed denial when the story was published.

In response to questions from Bloomberg, "We turned the company upside down", Cook told BuzzFeed.

After Bloomberg's initial story, it reported a few days later that a USA telecom company had found evidence of hacked Supermicro hardware. Chief security officer George Stathakopoulos said in a letter that the company had found no evidence to justify the claims made in the Bloomberg report.

Buzzfeed noted that Apple has never previously asked publicly for an article's retraction, even when the company has denied its accuracy.

The report was denied by Super Micro as well. The news agency added that 17 sources confirmed the the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks.

"Email searches, data centre records, financial records, shipment records". We also published three companies' full statements, as well as a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Bloomberg Businessweek's investigation is the result of more than a year of reporting, during which we conducted more than 100 interviews", a spokesperson told BuzzFeed News in response to a series of questions. Although there are hiccups about the Chinese spy chip story investigation, Bloomberg has stood steadfastly by its story and even published a follow-up account that furthered the original's claims.

An Apple spokesman said Friday that the company would have no additional comment. Tim Cook, the CEO of the company, has come out of these statements.

Latest News