Portland’s Elemental Technologies may have found itself at the center of a plot by to infiltrate the technology supply chain and introduce unknown chips into servers used by customers including several sensitive U.S. government agencies.
The company refutes the findings of the Bloomberg Businessweek investigation.
Bloomberg reports that a San Jose, Calif.-based server supplier called Super Micro Computer Inc., may have exposed hundreds of customers, including Elemental, to an attack that placed tiny unknown chips into servers that could open networks and servers to outside control. The report also stated the issue is currently under investigation.
Unnamed government sources told Bloomberg the source of the attack was the People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese government.
Super Micro told Bloomberg: “While we would cooperate with any government investigation, we are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic nor have we been contacted by any government agency in this regard.”
According to the report Elemental’s exposure to this supply chain attack was discovered in 2015 when the company was in due diligence with Amazon.com Inc. In September 2015, Amazon Web Services acquired Elemental for a reported $295 million. The company’s name was later changed to AWS Elemental.
An Amazon spokesperson countered the report:
“As we shared with Bloomberg Businessweek multiple times over the last couple months, at no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in Super Micro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. Additionally, we have not engaged in an investigation with the government.”
Elemental’s technology enables customers to broadcast video across mobile devices and was considered a key for Amazon to expand its video streaming service.