Bloomberg released a gargantuan report claiming China has used hardware to spy on 30 different US companies. But, alleged targets like Apple and Amazon deny it happened. The Hustle Sponsored by Either Amazon and Apple were hacked by Chinese spies or Bloomberg’s taking crazy pills It sounds like the plot of a made-for-TV Tom […]
October 5, 2018
Bloomberg released a gargantuan report claiming China has used hardware to spy on 30 different US companies. But, alleged targets like Apple and Amazon deny it happened.
Either Amazon and Apple were hacked by Chinese spies or Bloomberg’s taking crazy pills
It sounds like the plot of a made-for-TV Tom Cruise movie, but a Bloombergreport claims it’s true: Chinese spies installed malicious chips in motherboards and distributed them to 30 American businesses (including Amazon and Apple) through a company called Supermicro.
The companies involved disputed “virtually every aspect of Bloomberg’s story” (Apple’s words). But, the bombshell accusations rattled the tech sector, which will likely suffer as investigations continue.
The accusation: Supply, supply, supply
Chinese spies allegedly compromised the global tech supply chain by implanting rice-sized chips in tech exports at 4 Chinese subcontracting factories and then shipping them internationally.
And it gets worse -- according to Bloomberg, the microchips enabled hackers to remotely enter and manipulate infected networks, part of a long-term plot to access “high-value corporate secrets” and “sensitive government networks.”
According to the article, the “big hack” was the largest tech supply chain attack in history, and it’s been under investigation for 3 years. But not all parties agreed with Bloomberg’s reporting...
The rebuttal: Deny, deny, deny
Every major player in the story rejected Bloomberg’s claims:
“We have found no evidence to support [Bloomberg’s inquiries].” -- Apple
“There are so many inaccuracies… they’re hard to count.” -- Amazon
“We are not aware of any investigation regarding this topic.” -- Supermicro
So, who’s lying? For now, it’s a game of “he said, she said.” Bloomberg claims to have 17 sources on record -- including 6 current and former national security officials, 3 Apple insiders, and 2 Amazon employees.
The fallout: Sell! Sell! Sell!
So what’s next?
Regardless of the outcome, American companies will likely further reduce trade with Chinese suppliers (a process that’s begun already thanks to White House trade sanctions).
But investors aren’t excited about the expensive prospect of finding new tech suppliers to replace China in the highly interdependent global supply chain.
Stocks at Amazon and Apple dipped slightly, and the Nasdaq had its worst day since June. Things are looking especially un-Super for Supermicro -- the company’s stock fell more than 50% following the exposé.
Tiny chip, big problem
ZipRecruiter raises $156m at a $1.5B valuation -- now owns 10% of the recruitment market
The Los Angeles-based job posting platform has recruited $156m in new funding co-led by IVP and Wellington Management at an impressive $1.5B valuation.
ZipRecruiter has now raised $219m in total, in just 2 rounds since launching in 2010 -- and, they were profitable before borrowing a dime.
Well, that’s refreshing…
ZipRecruiter has carved out a marketplace for employers to post open positions and, through the power of AI, help job-seekers connect to openings that best match their skills and interests.
Weather forecasting startup, ClimaCell, tracks a $45m funding round
ClimaCell, a Boston-based startup that uses cell phone and loT data for short-term, “hyper-local” weather forecasting, raised $45m in Series B funding, bringing its total raised to $65m.
And a whole mess of big names were in on it: Clearvision Ventures led and was joined by Ford Smart Mobility, Envision Ventures plus a host of return backers.
How exactly does it work?
The gist is, atmospheric changes affect signals transmitted between cell towers and mobile phones.
ClimaCell devised a software program to measure the impact and provide super-accurate weather observations about your immediate surroundings (reportedly up to 6 hours in the future).
Do we really need to be that precise when it comes to weather?
Turns out, it’s more important than figuring out whether to bring a jacket.
It’s actually a huge friggin’ deal to the entire agriculture industry, airlines, ride-hailing services, and self-driving vehicles.
In fact, according to National Weather Service estimates, weather effects can swing America’s GDP by up to 6%. In other words, ClimaCell can tell companies if their future is cloudy with a chance of economic depression.
Just last month, Uber rolled out its JUMP scooters in Santa Monica (Bird’s hometown).
Uber has another huge advantage over smaller, scooter-first companies: As VC Sunil Paul reminded us all in his rant earlier this year, Uber already dominates demand with a network of 41m+ riders.
But this is just the semis
Lime, Bird, and Spin all launched with the same scooter supplier, Ninebot. But now Bird’s trying to take control of supply to gain an edge (the Bird Zero holds 60% more battery than old models).
But all of Bird’s competitors had the same idea: Lime partnered with Segway to produce scooters, and Spin also has DIY plans. Meanwhile, Lyft and Uber are working to get their massive user bases out on 2 wheels.
While scooter startups (Bird, Lime, Spin) struggle for supply superiority, ride-share giants (Lyft, Uber) duke it out for demand dominance -- and the winners will have to go head-to-head in the final scooter showdown.
Leesa’s snooze engineers developed a mattress that’s cool and soft to the touch, but still firm and supportive.
The result is a snooze pad that’s comfortable from the time your head hits the pillow ‘til the morning sun kisses your cheek -- or (more realistically) your alarm rattles you awake. Either way, you’ll be rested and ready to hit the keyboard.
Even Better? Order your Leesa mattress from the comfort of the internet -- they’ll ship it directly to your door.
Try it for 100 nights. If you’re not completely satisfied, send it back for a full refund, no questions asked.