Apple Chief Tim Cook Calls on Bloomberg to Retract Chinese Spy Chip Story

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook tells BuzzFeed News

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling for Bloomberg to retract its recent report that the company was hacked by Chinese spies that put malicious chips on the tech giant’s servers.

“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook told BuzzFeed News on Friday. “They need to do that right thing and retract it.”

The Bloomberg report, which came out earlier this month, said that Chinese spies placed the malicious microchips on servers manufactured in China and shipped to Silicon Valley. The microchips created a “stealth doorway,” Bloomberg said, allowing the spies to compromise the security network of any companies running on the servers. Apple, the world’s richest company and a stalwart of Silicon Valley, was among 30 companies hit by the breach, according to Bloomberg.

“We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources,” a Bloomberg representative told TheWrap.

“Bloomberg Businessweek’s investigation is the result of more than a year of reporting, during which we conducted more than 100 interviews,” the rep added. “Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks. We also published three companies’ full statements, as well as a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

Cook told BuzzFeed News he was irked by Bloomberg’s lack of evidence to back its reporting. That claim was echoed by U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats earlier this month, telling Cyberscoop there was “no evidence” Apple or other companies had been compromised by spy chips.

“We turned the company upside down,” Cook added. “Email searches, data center records, financial records, shipment records. We really forensically whipped through the company to dig very deep and each time we came back to the same conclusion: This did not happen. There’s no truth to this.”