Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) denied a Bloomberg report on Thursday that their systems had been infiltrated by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence, according to statements from the companies released by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg Businessweek cited 17 unidentified intelligence and company sources as saying that Chinese spies had placed computer chips inside equipment used by about 30 companies and multiple U.S. government agencies, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.
Representatives of Apple, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security could not be reached for comment by Reuters. A National Security Agency spokeswoman said she had no immediate comment.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a written request for comment. Beijing has previously denied allegations of orchestrating cyber attacks against Western companies.
Apple said it had refuted “virtually every aspect” of the story in on-record responses to Bloomberg. “Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server,” the company said. Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it found no issues.
Bloomberg said its report was accurate.