Republican senator seeks briefings on reported China hacking attack


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee has asked Apple Inc, Inc and Super Micro Computer Inc for staff briefings about a Bloomberg report that the Chinese government implanted malicious hardware into server motherboards provided by Super Micro.

Senator John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, questions executives from AT&T, Amazon, Google, Apple and Twitter on safeguards for consumer data privacy in Washington, U.S., September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Senator John Thune said in letters made public on Tuesday to the company’s chief executives that he had sought staff briefings by Oct. 12 from the three companies. “Allegations that the U.S. hardware supply chain has been purposely tampered with by a foreign power must be taken seriously,” Thune wrote.

The companies did not immediately comment on Tuesday on Thune’s letter. All have denied the report, published by Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday.

Apple’s top security officer, George Stathakopoulos, told Thune and other members of Congress on Sunday in a letter that the company had found no sign of suspicious transmissions or other evidence that it had been penetrated in a sophisticated attack on its supply chain. He said he would be available for briefings this week.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Rigby

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