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Super Micro says no evidence of spy chips found in its hardware

The company ordered a third-party investigation after a report stated Chinese surveillance chips had been inserted into its motherboards.

Super Micro said it wasn't surprised by results of a third-party investigation.
James Martin/CNET

Super Micro on Tuesday said an investigations firm found "absolutely no evidence" of malicious hardware on its motherboards.

In a letter sent to customers, the California hardware maker said a third-party investigations firm, tested its current and older-model motherboards for evidence that malicious chips or other hardware had been inserted into its products. Super Micro said it wasn't surprised by the results.

Super Micro didn't identify the company that conducted the investigation. Nardello & Co. later said it conducted the investigation but declined to comment further.

The investigation follows an October story by Bloomberg Businessweek that reported Chinese surveillance chips had been inserted into Super Micro hardware in order to spy on its clients, including Apple and Amazon Web Services.

Apple and Amazon have denied the content of Bloomberg's report.

Bloomberg News declined to comment. In a statement issued on Oct. 4, the day the story published, a spokesperson said:

"Bloomberg Businessweek's investigation is the result of more than a year of reporting, during which we conducted more than 100 interviews. Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks. We also published three companies' full statements, as well as a statement from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources."

First published Dec. 11 at 7:45 a.m. PT.
Update, 8:07 a.m. PT: Adds response from Bloomberg News.
Update, 10:00 a.m. PT: Adds confirmation from Nardello & Co.