Amazon cloud chief Jassy follows Apple in calling for retraction of Chinese spy chip story

  • AWS CEO Andy Jassy said Bloomberg story on spy chips was wrong and should be retracted.
  • He followed the lead of Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told Buzzfeed last week that the story was inaccurate.
Andy Jassy, CEO Amazon Web Services, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 25, 2016.
Andy Jassy, CEO Amazon Web Services, speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 25, 2016.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, followed Apple's lead in calling the for the retraction of Bloomberg's story about spy chips being embedded in servers.

"They offered no proof, story kept changing, and showed no interest in our answers unless we could validate their theories," Jassy wrote in a tweet on Monday. "Reporters got played or took liberties. Bloomberg should retract."

Apple CEO Tim Cook told Buzzfeed on Friday that the scenario Bloomberg reported never happened and that the October story in Bloomberg Businessweek should be retracted. Bloomberg alleged data center hardware used by Apple and AWS, and provided by server company Super Micro, was under surveillance by the Chinese government, even though almost all the companies named in the report denied Bloomberg's claim.

Bloomberg published a denial from AWS alongside its own report, and AWS refuted the report in a more strongly worded six-paragraph blog post entitled "Setting the Record Straight on Bloomberg Businessweek's Erroneous Article."

The Bloomberg story said that servers from Super Micro in AWS Beijing data centers contained malicious chips, which were also found in servers from Elemental Technologies, a company AWS acquired.

"There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they're hard to count," Steve Schmidt, chief information security officer at AWS, wrote in the post.

Also on Monday, Super Micro told shareholders that it sent a letter to customers informing them that it's conducting a "complicated and time-consuming review to further address the article" even as it lacks proof of the sort of malicious chips that Bloomberg had described.

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