Last week, a bombshell Bloomberg report about ‘The Big Hack’ detailing how Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising the U.S. technology supply chain, was issued strong denials by the likes of Apple, Amazon, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Today, Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity Strategy at the NSA Rob Joyce has also questioned the accuracy of the report while speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce cyber summit in Washington, D.C (via MacRumors).
“I have pretty good understanding about what we’re worried about and what we’re working on from my position. I don’t see it”, said Joyce, who is also a former White House cybersecurity coordinator.
“I’ve got all sorts of commercial industry freaking out and just losing their minds about this concern, and nobody’s found anything”, Joyce added.
“We’re just befuddled,” said Joyce. He added that he had “grave concerns about where this has taken us”. “I worry that we’re chasing shadows right now. I worry about the distraction that it is causing.”
Joyce noted that all of the companies named in the Bloomberg Businessweek report have issued strong denials, including Apple, Amazon, and Supermicro. He said those companies would “suffer a world of hurt” if regulators later determine that they lied.
Citing extensive interviews with 17 unnamed government and corporate sources, Bloomberg’s report claimed that Chinese spies planted tiny chips on server motherboards manufactured by Supermicro at its Chinese factories, which were then sold to companies like Apple and Amazon for use in their respective data centers.
The full report can be viewed here.