Apple CEO Tim Cook has upped the ante in its denial of an investigative report claiming a Chinese spy chip was embedded into the tech giant's servers, telling BuzzFeed News that Bloomberg must retract the story--"This did not happen. There's no truth to this."
"I was involved in our response to this story from the beginning," Cook said according to Buzzfeed. "I personally talked to the Bloomberg reporters along with Bruce Sewell who was then our general counsel. We were very clear with them that this did not happen, and answered all their questions. ... Each time they brought this up to us, the story changed and each time we investigated we found nothing."
“There is no truth in their story about Apple,” Cook added in the interview. "They need to do that right thing and retract it."
Bloomberg issued a statement to Buzzfeed, saying it stands by its reporting, which included spending more than a year on the story and more than 100 interviews.
“Seventeen individual sources, including government officials and insiders at the companies, confirmed the manipulation of hardware and other elements of the attacks," the spokesman told the news organization. "We also published three companies’ full statements, as well as a statement from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We stand by our story and are confident in our reporting and sources.”
Bloomberg Businessweek in its October story alleged that data center hardware used by Apple and Amazon Web Services, provided by server company Super Micro, was under surveillance by the Chinese government.
Amazon denied that its hardware had been compromised, the Department of Homeland Security said it had "no reason to doubt" Apple and Amazon's denials of the report and Apple sent a letter to Congress saying the report was without merit.
Apple earlier issued a lengthy, stern response on its company blog, saying in part:
"Apple has never found malicious chips in our servers. ... Finally, in response to questions we have received from other news organizations since Businessweek published its story, we are not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations."