Super Micro Computer, Inc. is one of the most popular sellers of server motherboards. The company’s motherboards are used for a variety of purposes such as MRI machines, weapon systems, banks, cloud computing providers and web-hosting services. In 2015 the company was infiltrated by Chinese spies. The spies attached spying devices to Supermicro motherboards. Supermicro motherboards are predominately manufactured by contractors in China. That year, Supermicro had more than 900 customers in 100 countries. The device provided intruders with an opportunity to access countless amounts of sensitive corporate data.
One of the companies affected by the hack was Amazon. In 2015, Amazon started evaluating Elemental Technologies for an acquisition. Elemental made software for compressing video files. The company was using custom Supermicro servers. After some issues, Amazon hired a third-party security organization to test the custom servers. During the evaluation the security company discovered tiny microchips attached to the motherboards not much larger than a grain of rice. Amazon than reported the discovery to U.S authorities. Officials reported the chips were inserted by operatives from a unit of the People’s Liberation Army. According to investigators, the attack affected almost 30 companies. Some of the companies infiltrated were major banks, government contractors and technology giant, Apple. Reportedly in 2015, Apple found malicious chips in their Supermicro motherboards. Apple later disputed the reports.
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