Super Micro reportedly says it'll check hardware for proof of spy chips

The US motherboards maker has denied the allegations and asks Bloomberg to retract the story.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read
Russian Hacker

Super Micro says it'll review hardware for any proof of malicious chips. 

Getty Images

Super Micro sent a letter to customers saying it'll review its products for any evidence of alleged spy chips, according to Reuters.

"Despite the lack of any proof that a malicious hardware chip exists, we are undertaking a complicated and time-consuming review to further address the article," the company wrote in a letter to customers dated Oct. 18, referring to a Bloomberg Businessweek report from earlier this month. 

Bloomberg had reported that Chinese spy chips were allegedly used to gather intellectual property and trade secrets from Apple and Amazon. The chips were reportedly assembled in China for San Jose, California-based Super Micro, and could have been subject to a secret US government investigation that started in 2015.

Super Micro has denied these allegations.

"The allegations imply there are a large number of affected motherboards. Bloomberg has not produced a single affected motherboard, we have seen no malicious hardware components in our products, no government agency has contacted us about malicious hardware components, and no customer has reported finding any malicious hardware components, either," said Charles Liang, CEO of Super Micro, in an email statement. "Bloomberg should act responsibly and retract its unsupported allegations that malicious hardware components were implanted on our motherboards during the manufacturing process."

Apple and Amazon also denied the allegations made in Bloomberg's report. Apple CEO Tim Cook last week requested the publication retract the story.

Bloomberg has stood by its story, which cited anonymous government and corporate sources. 

First published on Oct. 22, 8:52 a.m. PT.

Updates on Oct. 23, 6:14 a.m. PT: Adds Super Micro CEO Charles Liang statement. 

5G is your next big upgrade: Everything you need to know about the 5G revolution.

NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.