US intelligence chief says “no evidence” of Chinese spy chips


Joshua Roberts / Reuters

Dan Coats, the US director of national intelligence, said there’s “no evidence” that Chinese spies tampered with servers bought by up to 30 companies, including the likes of Apple and a telecom provider, as Bloomberg reported earlier this month. However, he told Cyberscoop that “we’re not taking anything for granted. We haven’t seen anything, but we’re always watching.”

The report related to motherboards made by server manufacturer Super Micro, and it suggested that Apple and Amazon found chips on the servers that gave spies a backdoor into their networks. Bloomberg is standing behind its story, though the companies at the heart of the report and Homeland Security have denied it. Apple CEO Tim Cook has also urged Bloomberg to retract the story.

Coats addressed the situation in a speech at the CyberTalks event, in which he warned of threats to the supply chain, noting that the administration is keeping an eye on the matter. “Understand that cyberthreats to your supply chain are an insidious problem that can jeopardize the integrity of your products,” he said.

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