Two U.S. senators sent a letter to Super Micro Computer Inc. asking if and when the company found evidence of tampering with hardware components after a Bloomberg Businessweek report described how China’s intelligence services used subcontractors to plant malicious chips in the company’s server motherboards. Florida Republican Marco Rubio and Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday gave the company until Oct. 17 to respond to a list of questions that also includes whether the company investigated its supply chain and cooperated with U.S. law enforcement. In Bloomberg Businessweek’s report, one official said investigators found that the Chinese infiltration through Super Micro reached almost 30 companies, including Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. Super Micro and both Amazon and Apple disputed the findings. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it has “no reason to doubt” the companies’ denials of Bloomberg Businessweek’s reporting.
“We are alarmed about the dangers posed by backdoors, and take any claimed threat to the nation’s networks and supply chain seriously,” the lawmakers said in the letter. “These new allegations require thorough answers and urgent investigation for customers, law enforcement and Congress.”
Cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important topic of congressional investigation following concerns about foreign actors compromising election security and technology infrastructure. Among the targets of the Chinese hack identified by Bloomberg was a contractor that made software to help funnel drone footage to the Central Intelligence Agency and communicate with the International Space Station.