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

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Other things came up and delayed my reading of the article and the quora post. I just finished. Very interesting story.

Reading Apple's statement on the matter, I couldn't help but think "of course they would deny it if the government forced them to" and then I came to this:

Finally, in response to questions we have received from other news organizations since Businessweek published its story, we are not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations.-
--- End quote ---


At this point, someone is going to be in a lot of trouble.

In a letter to Congress, Apple reiterated that it found no evidence of microchip-based server tampering by Chinese agents that was reported by Bloomberg Businessweek. The company, along with Amazon and server manufacturer Super Micro, had previously released forceful denials of suspicions that its servers contained malicious components. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and UK cybersecurity officials had also chimed in, saying they have no reason to doubt Amazon and Apple's denials.

Apple VP for IT security Goerge Stathakopoulos sent letters to both the US House and Senate Commerce Committees, according to a Reuters report. "Apple's proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity," it stated. "Nothing was ever found."

The letter also repeated press statements from Apple that it never discovered any backdoor components that could compromise user security. Apple originally said that it "conducted rigorous internal investigations based on [Bloomberg's] inquiries and each time we have found absolutely no evidence to support any of them." The company also noted that the story was based on 17 anonymous sources, with some allegations based on even fewer unnamed sources.

As a reminder, Bloomberg's report stated that Amazon and Apple found suspicious chips on widely used Super Micro servers that could relay information to foreign agents, who could then possibly initiate more intrusive attacks. Since publication, however, the companies involved have forcefully pushed back. Bloomberg said the investigation was "top secret" and that it stood by the article.

--- End quote ---

Maybe there's a silver lining here. I mean, for example, supposing that the market value of Amazon and Apple stock had just tanked on a lack of confidence, based on the news of the Chinese hack published in good faith by Breitbart, and that stockholders had been subsequently unloading it like the plague before it fell even lower. Suppose that someone had decided to buy a lot of it at the currently lower bargain price levels and then the "convincing" news that it's not a hack after all coincidentally meant that the stock just bought would be worth a lot more overnight as confidence was restored. That someone wouldn't even need to settle on the purchase before selling it at a clear windfall profit.
Wouldn't that be a lucky thing!?    :Thmbsup:

These things can be just "lucky coincidences" for some and "opportunities" for those imbued with good investment foresight. And it's not like something similar hasn't happened before - is it?

For example:

* Tesla: the report in the news that Tesla likely to face SEC investigation following Musk tweets amid debate of market manipulation. It seems that the CEO of Tesla apparently could have inadvertently probably caused a temporary spike in the continuum of Tesla stock value by Tweeting what turned out to be an apparently incorrect/untrue statement about funding being available for a private buyout, or something. This apparently could have run counter to SEC rules, in retrospect.
* Intel (Spectre/Meltdown): a  while back I read somewhere that the CEO of Intel had apparently/reportedly unloaded a lot of stock shortly before the Spectre/Meltdown "security flaws" were so systematically published and likely to cause a temporary spike in the continuum of Intel stock value. (I don't recall reading whether this could have run counter to SEC rules in retrospect, or whatever.)
I recall reading of a big investment funds manager in the UK in the '70s called Jim Slater, who seemed to be perpetually having that kind of luck - he seemed to have really good foresight; apparently made millions by it. He was apparently put into clink and did time - I don't recall the full details - but he was recognised as being a good investment adviser.    :o

Well, the pressure is mounting:


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