Chinese Spies Got to Amazon and Apple, Now Catherine Cortez Masto Wants Answers
Chinese spies reportedly reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by inserting chips into computer hardware during the manufacturing process. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) wants the Trump administration to look into this reported manipulation of U.S. tech and provide answers. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) “designed and manufactured” microchips to be surreptitiously planted within the motherboards of servers assembled by Super Micro Computer Inc. (also known as Supermicro). Then, Elemental Technologies -- which has contracts to sell technology to U.S. national security agencies -- installed these motherboards in servers used by the CIA and the Department of Defense, as well as at least 30 companies. “If true, the U.S. government servers, networks, and the sensitive information they contain could be compromised by a country that poses a significant strategic challenge to the United States. Additionally, any malicious PLA effort could have severe implications for the privacy of data for American consumers purchasing products from American technology firms.” In the letter, also authored by Cortez Masto’s colleagues Edward Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Senators ask the Trump administration to provide timely answers on the extent of government ownership of technology with Chinese government microchips, whether such devices are still in use, and any information concerning these microchips being implanted in technology that is utilized by U.S. companies. See the full letter here.