Peddling false accusations of China cyberattack won't help the U.S. in technological race: experts
Media reports suggesting that China tries to gather U.S. intelligence and data from a supply chain attack do not hold water and will not help the U.S. in its competition with China in the global IT supply chain, Chinese cybersecurity experts said.
The comments came after Bloomberg News published an article claiming new evidence of hacked hardware by U.S.-based Super Micro Computer Inc, in the form of a hardware implant built in a server's Ethernet connection that exposes U.S. communications networks.
The report, published Tuesday, followed an earlier story published in Bloomberg Businessweek that claimed Chinese intelligence pushed subcontractors in China to install malicious chips in server motherboards sold by Super Micro before 2015.
That report was strongly refuted by Super Micro and several companies mentioned in the article including Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc.
Yossi Appleboum, a key source in the latest Bloomberg report, declined to comment when reached by the Global Times.
China's Foreign Ministry referred to the companies' statements when asked to comment on Monday.
Qin An, head of the Beijing-based Institute of China Cyberspace Strategy, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the detailed rebuttals by the companies made the Bloomberg article an "international joke."
The reports tried to sell the idea that a China-dominated global supply chain is helping it to deploy its intelligence program. But Qin said that such reports won't have much effect on the global IT supply chain.
Some Chinese netizens said such stories were published to hit China's role as a contractor in the global IT supply chain.
"Such articles easily brainwash ordinary U.S. citizens and may be part of a bigger push to get multinationals back to the U.S.," a netizen using the name qiuqiuandxiaozongzi wrote.
"Sinophobia won't help the U.S. gain the upper hand with China in its competition in the global IT supply chain. Countries win with strengths, the value offered to the world, not with painting stories," Qin said.
Another observer, who declined to be identified, said there was wild speculation in the Bloomberg report, but most friends in his circle saw no concrete proof.
"A server is hardware, a solid object. So if any such issues really exist, it won't be difficult to come up with solid proof. I did not find it in the [first] article," the observer said.
"To deploy such implants mentioned in the second story on a large scale and hoping not to be caught is near impossible. Chinese State agencies won't do that. Even if they could, the risk of conducting such operations would be too high. The relationship with the U.S., reputation of the Chinese government and an entire Chinese [subcontracting] industry are at stake," he said.