Yikes - a malicious chip in server motherboards

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From the fine people at HACKADAY:

MALICIOUS COMPONENT FOUND ON SERVER MOTHERBOARDS SUPPLIED TO NUMEROUS COMPANIES
This morning Bloomberg is reporting a bombshell for hardware security. Companies like Amazon and Apple have found a malicious chip on their server motherboards. These are not counterfeit chips. They are not part of the motherboard design. These were added by the factory at the time of manufacture. The chip was placed among other signal conditioning components and is incredibly hard to spot as the nature of these motherboards includes hundreds of minuscule components.

Though Amazon and Apple have denied it, according to Bloomberg, a private security contractor in Canada found the hidden chip on server motherboards. Elemental Technologies, acquired by Amazon in 2015 for its video and graphics processing hardware, subcontracted Supermicro (Super Micro Computer, Inc.) to manufacture their server motherboards in China. It is unknown how many of the company’s products have this type of malicious hardware in them, equipment from Elemental Technologies has been supplied to the likes of government contractors as well as major banks and even reportedly used in the CIA’s drone operations.

SuperMicro is a very high end and very good manufacturer - used their products for years building high-end machines for people, while I was at MSFT and now whenever I build a system. Them and ASUS are rock solid top-of-the-mountain when it comes to reliable hardware. To have this happen is really going to hit the fan for them. Talk about consumer confidence...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 4, 2018 7:23 PM.

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