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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

A new twist in Bloomberg’s ‘spy chip’ report implicates U.S. telecom

There’s a new wrinkle in the Bloomberg’s ongoing but controversial series on alleged hardware hacks affecting U.S. tech giants — despite heavy skepticism after the named companies rebuffed the allegations and critics poked holes in the reporting.

Bloomberg’s new report out Tuesday said that a U.S. telecom discovered that hardware it used in its datacenters was “manipulated” by an implant designed to conduct covert surveillance and exfiltrate corporate or government secrets.

The implant was found on an Ethernet connector — used to hard-wire device to a network — on a motherboard developed by Supermicro, a major computer manufacturer that was named in the first Bloomberg story.

It was that first report that claimed China had infiltrated a Supermicro factory to install chips on motherboards that went on to go into servers in datacenters operated by Apple and Amazon. Apple, Amazon and Supermicro denied the claims in a series of strong rebuttals. Supermicro’s said on Tuesday that it “still [has] no knowledge of any unauthorized components” and said it hadn’t been informed by any customer of the alleged security breach.

Although the report claims “fresh evidence of tampering” by China, it does not explicitly link the tampering to similar attacks on Apple and Amazon, or others.

What lends more credence to this second Bloomberg story than the first is that a security researcher said he inspected the implant first-hand, rather than the reporters having to rely on descriptions from several sources who allegedly had knowledge of the implants.

Yossi Appleboum, co-founder of Sepio Systems and former Israeli intelligence officer, provided Bloomberg with evidence and documentation — which wasn’t published alongside the story — that the alleged implant was introduced at the factory where the telecom’s equipment was built. He also said there are many ways that China’s supply chain is compromised and implants could be introduced.

Plot twist: Bloomberg didn’t name the telecom because of a non-disclosure agreement between Appleboum and the company.

We asked Appleboum several questions by email — including if the telecom company informed the FBI of the discovery — but he did not immediately respond to a request for comment. If that changes, we’ll update.

This new story certainly adds more to the mix on Bloomberg’s continuing reporting streak on hardware hacks, but doesn’t negate the apparent failings — or the lack of evidence — in its first report.

For its part, Bloomberg said as of Monday that it stood by its reporting.

But it’s difficult not to be skeptical, given the criticism on Bloomberg’s earlier reporting. Apple’s watertight statement to lawmakers explicitly denying the reporters’ claims shifted the onus onto Bloomberg to provide further evidence for its assertions in its original report, which the publication has yet to do.

Until then, it’s fair to take the reports with a healthy dose of salt.


Source: TechCrunch

Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL start at $799, rock two selfie cameras and bigger screens – CNET

The latest flagship smartphone, however, sticks to the single rear camera.
Source: CNET

Google Home Hub joins the fight to put a screen on your countertop – CNET

Google’s smart display cuts the camera and adds adaptive brightness and a smart home control panel.
Source: CNET

Scenes from Google's Pixel 3 event – CNET

After a series of leaks about the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Slate and more, Google’s finally set to unveil its next slate of hardware.
Source: CNET

Google tags its AI assistant to help organize your photos – CNET

Google’s voice assistant now sorts and automatically organizes your photos into albums.
Source: CNET

Google announces $599 Pixel Slate – CNET

The rumors were true.
Source: CNET

GE’s new light bulbs work with Google Assistant without a hub

What’s that you say, friend? Haven’t had enough Google news for the day? Have no fear. Here’s a little extra from the folks at General Electric. The company announced this afternoon that its C by GE bulbs are the first to carry Made for Google certification.

That means the bulbs will work with Google Home devices right out of the box, without the need for a smart home hub — which is nice, since none of the entry level devices sport the functionality. Screw the bulb in, and the Home device should detect it automatically, letting you turn it on and off via voice commands. That all happens via a bluetooth connection.

For good measure, the companies will be offering up a bundle featuring the Home Mini and pre-paired. That will run $55. The new Google-ready bulbs will hit retail on October 22. Two-packs of the C-Life and C-Sleep bulbs will run $25 and $35, respectively.

more Google Event 2018 coverage


Source: TechCrunch

Google's Pixel Slate: Price, Specs, and Release Date

Google just revealed its first Chrome OS tablet, the Pixel Slate.
Source: Wired

Google Home Hub Smart Display: Specs, Price, Release Date

The 7-inch, voice-controlled display is a home base for the Google Assistant.
Source: Wired

Google Pixel 3: Specs, Price, Release Date

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, shipping this month starting at $799, feature a number of software enhancements that power the camera and the AI features.
Source: Wired

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