Bloomberg's promotion of Michael Riley was revealed by the Washington Post's media writer Erik Wemple on Tuesday; he noted that Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait had announced that Riley would become the news outlet's cyber security chief.
The other byline on the discredited story was that of one Jordan Robertson. The cyber security team at Bloomberg has been tasked to “write about the various attempts to hack companies, governments and elections, as well as the thriving marketplace for cyber security tools, both legal and otherwise".
The Supermicro story, published on 4 October 2018, named Apple, Amazon, the US Department of Defence and data processors for the CIA as being among those who had been using servers with these chips, which had been destroyed after being discovered.
The lesson from this is journalists should get photoshop pictures of rice grain chips made, move markets, get promoted and get entered for awards. https://t.co/fkHY8LaNmy— Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog) September 18, 2019
Additionally, a senior Apple security official took the unusual step of writing to the US Congress directly saying there was no evidence to back Bloomberg's claims, while a former general counsel of the company said he had asked the FBI about the charges and been told that the agency knew nothing about it.
Despite this being a major story, no other outlet followed up on it, apparently being unable to corroborate anything that was claimed.
The Post reported in November last year that another Bloomberg reporter, Ben Elgin, had been calling Apple and seeking discreet information about what his own colleagues had reported.
Elgin wrote to one employee at Apple on 19 November, saying, "My colleagues’ story from last month (Super Micro) has sparked a lot of pushback. I’ve been asked to join the research effort here to do more digging on this … and I would value hearing your thoughts (whatever they may be) and guidance, as I get my bearings.”
Nothing has yet emerged in public as a result of Elgin's reported investigations.