Last week, Bloomberg reported the discovery of a foreign chip on motherboards developed by the Amazon Web Services for US companies and intelligence services. The chip traced back to a manufacturer in China, which poses a severe threat to US national security.
Being the size of a sharpened pencil tip, the chip was inserted at Chinese factories which supplied Supermicro, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of sever motherboards. Once incorporated into severs, the motherboards are distributed to data centres abroad.
When the server is switched on, the chip alters the operating system so that it allows modifications such as removing the need for passwords. That enables a hacker on another computer to access information on the operating system.
Related: The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies