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US telecom falls prey to Chinese-hacked hardware

By LemmingOverlrd · 7 replies
Oct 10, 2018
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  1. Bloomberg News has received information from security research firm, Sepio Systems, that a prominent US telecom has also fallen to the Chinese supply chain attack, adding another notch to the People Liberation Army's (PLA) belt.

    Reports of manufacturing shenanigans have continued this week with Sepio Systems' co-CEO, Yossi Appleboum, providing further proof of hacked motherboards used in servers, this time at an unnamed US telecommunications company. Due to the sensitive nature of the disclosure and potential impact on business, Sepio Systems did not reveal the name of the company, but it did describe the mod on the - again - Supermicro motherboard. Digging a little deeper, Bloomberg reached out to all major US telecom companies, and got upfront denials from all but T-Mobile, inferring that this may be the company in question.

    This time, the attack was admittedly different, and the details revealed an "implant" in the server's ethernet connector, which triggered "unusual communications", which techies at the telecom company were unable to account for. The tampered Supermicro server appeared as two different network devices, yet sharing the authority of the server, bypassing security filters.

    According to Mr Appleboum, it is not the first time he has seen contractors in China attempting to tamper with hardware, but it was the first time he saw it on a Supermicro product. The security company added that it was clear that the devices had been tampered at a Supermicro subcontractor’s facilities in Guangzhou, China.

    Last week Bloomberg had revealed, in a high-profile and controversial investigation, that Apple and Amazon were victims of Chinese intelligence operatives by way of Supermicro servers, used at those companies. The alleged hack would have taken place in China, since 2015, as subcontractors hired to build motherboards for Supermicro servers proceeded to solder on the hardware mod, which would then become part of the company's supply chain, and their clients' infrastructure. Apple and Amazon have categorically refuted the implication that their internal servers were feeding their IP to China's PLA operatives, not to mention the potentially ruinous revelation which could severely impact Supermicro Inc.'s business.

    While targeted companies have been quick to refute the hack, US officials are not discarding it outright and did not comment on the goings-on. It will not help the ongoing trade war between the US and China, that's for sure.

    Permalink to story.

  2. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 181   +72

    And that is what have been detected, there is probably a lot more and it probably have been since a long time. It may be the tip of the iceberg. It is long time overdue and I am surprise it has not been detected before.
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,714   +2,513

    Actually, its likely to help the US in the "trade war" immensely..that's why this is finally coming out NOW, because US authorities have known about this for years. In fact, the US pulled the same exact trick using Cisco telecom routers shipped to China in retaliation. Apple and the rest of the tech barons weren't about to stop building everything in China due to something as trivial as national security being compromised - the bottom line is everything to them. Using China's own tricks against them was the most US intelligence could do under Obama. So Trump gets elected and some hawkish types finally get his ear and let him know what's been going on, and since he's already ticked off about the one-sided trade we've had for thirty years he uses the well-documented spying as leverage in negotiations. We'll be hearing more of China's dirty economic laundry being aired in the coming months, I'm certain. Trump will turn the average American voter against China, and rightfully so because they haven't been our friend since the Cultural Revolution. When the usual suspects on Wall Street piss and moan about being forced to seek new places to build their silicon sweatshops and how they'll have to raise prices on ridiculously overpriced goods all the conservatives and more than a few RINOs will dump their tech stocks. Then you'll see Apple products being assembled and maybe even manufactured domestically. That's how a populist businessman gets results.
  4. Kashim

    Kashim TS Booster Posts: 99   +81

    Let me give you the short summary of what he's trying to say: if anything good happens, it's automatically because of Trump. If anything bad happens, it's either China's fault, the Liberals are to blame, or the work of the Deep State.

    Trumpism 101: All your problems are someone else's fault. Find a scapegoat, quick.

    It's so easy to blame China for whatever plight the old, white men of America seem to believe they're suffering. One favorite line they love to use is "country x has been taking advantage of the US for y number of years." Really? How has the US been the world's top economy for some 70+ years if every country is taking advantage of it? It's like a rich guy complaining that he could be even richer if all these peasants would stop stealing for him. Also, who do you think buys those 75+ million iPhones every year? The US creates a massive need for certain items and China fills that need. I'm no fan of China, but this is basic economics.
    mbrowne5061 and Reehahs like this.
  5. GaryMove

    GaryMove TS Enthusiast Posts: 169   +11

    That's interesting.
    I love revealing news.
  6. Nero7

    Nero7 TS Evangelist Posts: 376   +153

    Thanks for revealing your scapegoat in the next sentence. So comedic.
    dms96960 and senketsu like this.
  7. Abraka

    Abraka TS Addict Posts: 176   +54

    Well, now the US telecoms see how does it feel when US government is hacking telecoms in other countries. That's the result. Not fun, ha?
  8. Joe Blo

    Joe Blo TS Rookie

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