Stock in Server Company Super Micro Cratered After Report Alleging Chinese Hacking
The San Jose-based company’s stock was down 41% to $12.60 at the market’s close on Thursday. At one point during the day, Super Micro’s shares were down 60% to $8.52, underscoring Wall Street investors’ fear in the wake of the Bloomberg Businessweek report.
The report, based on numerous unnamed sources, said that members of the Chinese military were able to install extremely small microchips on some of Super Micro’s server motherboards that the company sold to at least 30 companies. Some of the U.S. companies that at one point used tampered servers include Apple and Amazon Web Services, or AWS, the report stated.
Chinese military members were able sneak the compromised microchips into various Chinese factories where the motherboards were assembled, the report said.
Super Micro, Apple, and Amazon all disputed the report.
Super Micro said in a statement that it “has never been contacted by any government agencies either domestic or foreign regarding the alleged claims.”
“Supermicro takes all security claims very seriously and makes continuous investments in the security capabilities of their products. The manufacture of motherboards in China is not unique to Supermicro and is a standard industry practice,” the company said. “Nearly all systems providers use the same contract manufacturers. Supermicro qualifies and certifies every contract manufacturer and routinely inspects their facilities and processes closely.”
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Amazon said in a statement that the report is “untrue.”
Apple said in a statement, “On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, ‘hardware manipulations’ or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server.”