Apple CEO urges Bloomberg to retract Chinese spy chip story

  • Tim Cook says ‘no truth’ in the story about tech giant’s computers being infiltrated by Chinese spy chips and ‘they need to that right thing’
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 October, 2018, 11:35am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2018, 11:53am

Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Friday told an online news website that Bloomberg should retract a story that claimed Apple’s internal computer systems had been infiltrated by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence agents.

Bloomberg said it stood by its report, published earlier this month.

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook told BuzzFeed News in an interview with the online publication. “They need to do that right thing and retract it.”

Apple confirmed the accuracy of the BuzzFeed News report but declined to comment further.

Cook’s comments follow a denial by Apple that Bloomberg included in its story, a statement posted on Apple’s own website and a letter to US lawmakers.

Apple declined to say whether it planned to take legal action against Bloomberg.

In response to questions about Cook’s request for a retraction in the BuzzFeed News story on Friday, Bloomberg said it was confident of its reporting, conducted over more than a year. The news agency said 17 sources confirmed “the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks”.

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Bloomberg reported that a unit of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army infiltrated the supply chain of computer hardware maker Super Micro Computer to plant malicious chips that could be used to steal corporate and government secrets.

Bloomberg said in its report that some 30 companies and multiple US government agencies were targeted by the chips, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.

Super Micro also denied the report.