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The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

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Interesting quora post from someone who thinks the article is wrong:

Nah. We all know them pesky Russkies rilly the ones wot dun it, eh?

Interesting quora post from someone who thinks the article is wrong:
-mouser (October 06, 2018, 05:51 AM)
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Thanks!  That was really interesting, and he made points there that I'd not considered, and think are completely salient to the situation, e.g.

Apple's statement[2] is really quite extraordinary. They unequivocally deny the entire story and strongly criticize Bloomberg. You just absolutely couldn't do that if you weren't telling the full truth. It would completely destroy your credibility when the truth came out, which it definitely would. Your lawyers would not let you make a materially false statement. And your auditors would demand access to verify your public statement, as I imagine they are indeed currently doing.

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Leading to:

Apple's statement isn't full of weasel words. They flatly state that everything about the article is false and deny several specific allegations individually. Our lawyers were reluctant to let us make flat denials even when we were 100% right.

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Leading to:

Lying to investors about a breach of this magnitude is a “go out of business” level offense, and the officers of the company would go to jail.


... getting hacked like this doesn't put you out of business. In most cases it doesn't even hurt very much. Nobody expects Apple to be perfectly secure against a government, and that's good because it's not possible. Every single big tech company has been breached at some point.

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That line of reasoning about those at Apple and the weight of the possible consequences... It just makes sense.

A chip the size of a grain of rice, cannot have too many different connectors on it. Which makes me think that it may be able to do one or two of the suggested breaches, but not all of them.

The servers in question were of the blade server model. That means highly densed motherboards, which in turn leads to motherboards that consist of multiple layers of etched electronic pathways to get all the electronics connected properly.

From what I understood the chip was planted on the top of the mainboard, meaning that getting it connected to all necessary pathways will be difficult, even with equipment.

In short, I have my doubts about the capabilities of such a small chip and proper connectivity to be able to the proposed breaches seems highly unlikely. Size limitations being the main problem here. I would assume that it would be easier to replace one of the standard electronic chips with an altered one and solder that back. Requires less equipment to do, can be done by lesser technical hands and will not draw (immediate) attention.

I'm just starting to read the article (and will read the quora post after) but the doubts cast on it in this thread alone make me wonder if this will be another "Rolling Stone incident."


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