The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources – according to a Bloomberg Report.

Excerpts from this report:

“During the ensuing top-secret probe, which remains open more than three years later, investigators determined that the chips allowed the attackers to create a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.”

“How the Hack Worked:”

1.  A Chinese military unit designed and manufactured microchips as small asa a sharpened pencil tip. Some of the chips were built to look like signal conditioning couplers, and they incorporated memory, networking capability, and sufficient processing power for an attack.

2. The microchips were inserted at Chinese factories that supplied Supermicro, one of the world’s biggest sellers of server motherboards.

3. The compromised motherboards were built into servers assembled by Supermicro.

4.  The sabotaged servers made their way inside data centers operated by dozens of companies.

5. When a server was installed and switched on, the microchip altered the operating system’s core so it could accept modifications. The chip could also contact computers controlled by the attackers in search of further instructions and code.

See also TechCrunch Article:

Chinese chip spying report shows the supply chain remains the ultimate weakness