Tiny surveillance chips have been found hidden in the servers of about 30 American companies, believed to be installed during the manufacturing process in China.
Based on a three-year top-secret investigation in the United States, the Chinese government-affiliated groups infiltrated the supply chain to install these malicious chips, which are about the size of a grain of rice, to motherboards. These servers were deployed by U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies, and many U.S. companies such as Apple and Amazon.
“Since the implants were small, the amount of code they contained was small as well. But they were capable of doing two very important things: telling the device to communicate with one of several anonymous computers elsewhere on the internet that were loaded with more complex code; and preparing the device’s operating system to accept this new code.”
This “hardware hack” is suspected to be another way the Chinese government spy on American companies. According to the report, it is “more difficult to pull off and potentially more devastating, promising the kind of long-term, stealth access that spy agencies are willing to invest millions of dollars and many years to get.”
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