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Super Micro: No Malicious Hardware Found on Motherboards

California-based Super Micro told customers on Tuesday that it has conducted a thorough investigation in response to a Bloomberg article claiming that Chinese spy chips had been planted on its servers, but found no evidence of malicious hardware.

California-based Super Micro told customers on Tuesday that it has conducted a thorough investigation in response to a Bloomberg article claiming that Chinese spy chips had been planted on its servers, but found no evidence of malicious hardware.

Bloomberg reported in early October that the Chinese government planted tiny spy chips in Super Micro products in an effort to spy on Apple, Amazon and tens of other major companies in the United States.

While Bloomberg stands by its story, all the tech firms mentioned in its article, including Super Micro itself and Apple, have strongly denied the allegations. Furthermore, even government agencies in the US and UK have denied investigating such incidents, as claimed by Bloomberg.

In a letter published on Tuesday, Super Micro’s CEO, Charles Liang, its SVP and Chief Compliance Officer, David Weigand, and SVP and Chief Product Officer, Raju Penumatcha, told customers that an investigation conducted with the assistance of a third-party firm “found absolutely no evidence of malicious hardware” on Supermicro motherboards.

“A representative sample of our motherboards was tested, including the specific type of motherboard depicted in the [Bloomberg] article and motherboards purchased by companies referenced in the article, as well as more recently manufactured motherboards,” Super Micro officials said.

“As we have stated repeatedly since these allegations were reported, no government agency has ever informed us that it has found malicious hardware on our products; no customer has ever informed us that it found malicious hardware on our products; and we have never seen any evidence of malicious hardware on our products,” they added. “Today’s announcement should lay to rest the unwarranted accusations made about Supermicro’s motherboards.”

The company has also provided some information about how it protects the integrity of its products and even published a video showing its quality assurance process.

The stocks of Super Micro and Chinese tech firms Lenovo and ZTE tumbled as a result of Bloomberg’s report. Super Micro shares have started to recover, but they’re still only at $16, compared to roughly $20 before Bloomberg ran its story.

Related: Apple Tells Congress Chinese Spy Chip Story Is False

Related: Industry Reactions to Chinese Spy Chips

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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