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  • Robert J. Borer

ICYMI: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

In October 2018, Bloomberg published an article titled “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” that sent shockwaves around the world.

In summation, Chinese spies infiltrated nearly 30 U.S. companies by embedding malicious microchips in Supermicro motherboards. The motherboards, which were presumed to be of highest quality, were utilized inside of US data centers – which then afford bad actors easy access to massive amounts of sensitive information.

The implications of this hack captured global attention across every corner of the tech industry. No one was safe. Companies included Amazon, Apple, and Equifax to name a few. In fact, members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army have been indicted for conducting the biggest software supply chain attack in history that exploited a vulnerable open source component at Equifax.

In late 2017, the Center for Internet Security (CIS) Chief Technology Officer Brian Calkin said the organization ran out of storage space in its data center at its office in East Greenbush, New York prompting them to migrate to Amazon’s Web Services cloud. Yes, the same Amazon that was targeted by China shortly thereafter.

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