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Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:20 pm
by Njord
Hardware hacks perpetrated by the Peoples Liberation Army (ironically named) have been found in motherboards from Supermicro.
Read this fascinating article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... -companies
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ng-respond

Is there any sign of unexpected "chips" designed to appear to be capacitors etc on Rpi or Rpi-lookalike boards?

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:23 pm
by W. H. Heydt
For RPI "look alike" boards, you'd have to ask the people that make them. As for the Pi...they are designed by the RPT and most are made in Wales. That makes it less than likely that an extraneous circuit could be added, as compared to an East Asian made motherboard (which is both far more complex and has higher margins, giving both physical and financial room to sneak in something "extra").

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:27 pm
by DougieLawson
Do we care about the Chinese being a bad actor, because the NSA and GCHQ will be watching what we do anyway if we're interesting enough for them to bother about us. The Russians will be hacking at our systems if they think they have any value to the Russian Gov't.

The only reason the Chinese got caught is because the US & NSA are petrified by the bad things Huawei have been doing for many years.

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:14 pm
by Heater
Seems extremely unlikely that such a trick could be pulled on Pi made in Wales. No matter where they are made Pi are in the hands of millions of nerdy geeks, someone would notice.

I have yet to see any confirmation that this Bloomberg story is even true. Surely it would not be beyond the wit of man to get hold of an example of such a backdoored motherboard and lets some security guys look it it over.

We have so many vulnerabilities and back doors in all our devices now a days, by intention or accident, that I'm not inclined to panic over this story.

Yes, we do worry about China being a bad actor. And the NSA, GCHQ, the pesky Russians and everyone else. If backdoors are there bad guys will find them and try to use them to empty you back account or other misdeeds. Even if it were something as "unimportant" as the Pi, that might be a little crack them leads to greater access to your stuff.

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:29 pm
by jamesh
Njord wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:20 pm
Is there any sign of unexpected "chips" designed to appear to be capacitors etc on Rpi?
No.

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:52 pm
by Andyroo
The article may be a bit of fake news https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/10 ... spy-chips/

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:15 am
by hippy
Andyroo wrote:
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:52 pm
The article may be a bit of fake news
An interesting theory is the article correctly reports what is fake news being put about by those who wish to demonise the Chinese.

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:25 am
by PhatFil
is bloomberg a reliable source?

ive only ever landed on it as the result of click bait?

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:31 am
by jamesh
Again,

No.

Re: Spy chips found in Supermicro motherboards. What about the pi?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 am
by mahjongg
Agreed, this smells of silly hysteria and FUD. There seems to be no proof at all for all of this nonsense.