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Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amazon and Apple network servers may have been compromised by Chinese spy microchips, a Bloomberg Businessweek report claims.

What happened: U.S. investigators found that microchips were installed in servers used by various companies while they were being manufactured in China. The goal, per Bloomberg, was "long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks."

The details: The discovery kicked off a government investigation which, after three years, is still going. No consumer data is believed to be compromised from the almost 30 companies that were affected.

  • Supermicro, the U.S.-based company that assembles the affected servers, dominates the industry. While it assembles its products in the U.S., its core product, the motherboards, are manufactured in China. A former U.S. intelligence official told Bloomberg that attacking Supermicro "is like attacking Windows. It's like attacking the whole world."

The other side: Amazon, Apple, and Supermicro all disputed the findings of Bloomberg's report.

  • Read the responses that each company provided to Bloomberg.
  • Amazon said in a release on Thursday: "At no time, past or present, have we ever found any issues relating to modified hardware or malicious chips in SuperMicro motherboards in any Elemental or Amazon systems. ... There are so many inaccuracies in ‎this article as it relates to Amazon that they’re hard to count."

Go deeper

Maxine Waters offers right-wing alternative universe for Chauvin trial

Data: Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer; Chart: Axios Visuals

While Fox News has largely ignored the Derek Chauvin trial compared to competitors, conservative media seized on comments from Rep. Maxine Waters over the weekend, making it the single biggest trial storyline on social media since it began on March 29, according to NewsWhip data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: The data shows that for conservative America, the story in Minneapolis is being used as a way to highlight the aggression of protesters rather than the police killing of a Black man.

19 mins ago - World

China leads the world with new state-backed digital currency

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

In a push to dominate global financial technology, the Chinese government is aiming to roll out the world's first state-backed digital currency.

Why it matters: China's new currency could set global standards for the use of national digital currencies — and give Beijing unprecedented visibility and control over domestic financial transactions.

Record number of journalists unionize during COVID pandemic

Data: Axios research; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The COVID-19 crisis has triggered a massive uptick in news media unionization efforts, union leaders tell Axios.

Why it matters: The trend is only going to grow bigger once people head back to work in-person, says Jon Schleuss, president of the NewsGuild.

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