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Apple Denies Bloomberg’s China Hack Report in Letter to Congress

Apple took the unusual step to send a letter to Congress Monday to deny last week’s Bloomberg report that it had fallen victim to a sophisticated Chinese hardware hack.

“You should know that Bloomberg provided us with no evidence to substantiate their claims and our internal investigations concluded their claims were simply wrong,” the company wrote in a letter addressed to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate’s commerce, science and transportation committee as well as the House’s energy and commerce committee.

The letter is the latest denial following Bloomberg’s bombshell report last week that China had altered server hardware in order to break into the networks of high-tech companies in the United States. The magazine had singled out Apple and Amazon as two prominent victims of the attack, which according to Bloomberg affected close to 30 companies as well as several U.S. government agencies.

Bloomberg’s report suggested that China was able to infiltrate these companies via computer hardware manufactured by Supermicro, a California-based manufacturer of specialty servers that counted Amazon’s Elemental video encoding subsidiary among its clients. By placing a tiny chip on Elemental’s servers, Chinese hackers were looking to open up corporate networks from the inside, making them vulnerable to espionage and other malicious attacks, the story alleged.

Apple, Amazon and Supermicro all forcefully denied the report when it was published last week, and Apple reiterated that denial in Monday’s letter to lawmakers.

“Our internal investigations directly contradict every consequential assertion made in the article—some of which, we note, were based on a single anonymous source,” the company wrote. “Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.”

Apple’s denial to Congress comes after the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying that it had no reason to doubt Amazon’s and Apple’s denial.

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