Bloomberg continues to report on China hacking story
Bloomberg News is continuing to do reporting on its blockbuster story last month that appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek that claimed that China had hacked its way into software produced by companies such as Apple and Super Micro, reports Erik Wemple of The Washington Post.
The reporting is being done by Ben Elgin, who was not part of the original story, reports Wemple.
Wemple reports, “A couple of points here: The recent round of sleuthing by Elgin appears to be good journalism; there’s nothing untoward and everything legitimate about finding sources, asking them for interviews and pursuing the truth. This particular round of truth-seeking, of course, would have been better timed to precede a decision on publication of ‘The Big Hack.’ And the Erik Wemple Blog doesn’t normally find it relevant or newsworthy to document communications between reporters and potential sources as work proceeds on a project.
“In this case, however, the circumstances are a bit different. ‘The Big Hack’ was big news, involving hostile foreign actors and brand-name companies here in the United States. Agents working for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, the story reported, had managed to seed server motherboards made in China by subcontractors for San Jose-based Super Micro Computer with ill-intended microchips. The hack allegedly affected some 30 companies, including Apple and Amazon Web Services, according to the piece. Following a bunch of criticism, Apple CEO Tim Cook called for the story to be retracted, as did an executive with Amazon Web Services.
“Not only did industry and government officials denounce the conclusions on the record, but the story itself was short on hard evidence of a supply-chain compromise. It relied on ’17 people’ who ‘confirmed the manipulation of Supermicro’s hardware and other elements of the attacks. The sources were granted anonymity because of the sensitive, and in some cases classified, nature of the information,’ noted the story. What it lacked were documents, photos, reports — any of the artifacts that would logically go along with such a scary intrusion into the U.S. economy.”
Read more here.