Tim Cook Demands Bloomberg Retract Chinese Spy Chip Story

Darnell Taylor
October 21, 2018

In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Apple CEO Tim Cook has called on Bloomberg to retract a contentious news report that alleged Chinese spies used microchips to infiltrate a number of major US tech companies.

And now we've got Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, weighing in directly with a statement made to BuzzFeed News on Friday. Again, some will argue that they are lying, and (again) while those agencies may have a history of misrepresenting things, the denials here were clear and unequivocal.

Blasting Jordan Robertson and Michael Riley's reporting on the Chinese spy chip story, Apple's CEO calls for a retraction.

He said, "There is no truth in their story about Apple". Apple is utterly and wholly dependent on the Chinese government, and assuming the Bloomberg story is 100% accurate, I doubt Tim Cook would openly side with Bloomberg and thus openly attack the Chinese government.

Apple issued a detailed denial when the story was published.

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Cook told BuzzFeed News that he spoke with Bloomberg's report along with former Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell. Later that day China responded to the Bloomberg report.

Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee to "be careful what you read" in reference to the report, BuzzFeed News said.

Also, as reporter Nicole Perlroth noted, one of the reporters on the Bloomberg story - Michael Riley - had also done a story back in 2014 making bold claims that the NSA had exploited the Heartbleed bug, and multiple other reports ripped that story to shreds, with multiple people denying it and no one else confirming it.

Bloomberg's Businessweek published a story which said malicious chips were built into servers that had been manufactured in China. The news agency added that 17 sources confirmed the the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks.

According to Cook, Apple turned the company upside down trying to find the chip, turning over emails, data centers, shipments, and financial records. Although there are hiccups about the Chinese spy chip story investigation, Bloomberg has stood steadfastly by its story and even published a follow-up account that furthered the original's claims. "We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources", the company said in a statement to CNBC.

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