Reply to post: Let's not go overboard with this.

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

martinusher Silver badge

Let's not go overboard with this.

Unfortunately the conduit for this information appears to be not very technical, we're told vague things about the part that would be worthy of a modern day spy thriller but don't make an awful lot of sense to someone who actually understands these designs. As its been in the boards for a decade or so we have to assume that with its form factor its not going to be anything much more sophisticated than a medium sized EEROM. It could patch code on the fly but that's more theoretical than realistic because there's no guarantee that the code its patching will be stable for an extended period of time.

I'm prepared to dismiss this as disinformation put around by our own intelligence services (who would probably love a capability like this but they really have one already in the form of the Management Engine. I'm also used to seeing Bloomberg being used as a conduit for this sort of information -- we normally think of them as a financial site but for a long time now if you wanted a story about Russia or China planted in the media they seem to be one of the 'go to' publications.

What is particularly worrying about this is that the overall picture I'm getting these days of our technical capability is that we seem to be losing it. I'm seeing more marketing and less technology, stories about wonder weapons, mystery capabilities of real and imagined enemies, all dark paranoia and no real technology. This dovetails rather nicely with my perceptions of industry -- obviously the picture's not all bad but in general there seems to be a dumbing down as skilled people age out and are not replaced (or replaced by people with a very different set of skills). This may end up being the story behind the story; its already old news in the UK but the US....

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