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FAANG Report: Apple tells US Congress no Chinese spy chips in hardware; Facebook hit by new scam

Raising the minimum hourly wage to $15/hour has made life difficult for retailers ahead of the Christmas shopping season
Apple iPhones.
Apple insists Chinese spies did not compromise its hardware.

Apple Inc's (NASDAQ:AAPL) Information Security chief told the US Congress a report that China planted spy chips in the motherboards of software that the iPhone maker used is not true, a copy of the letter published by Apple Insider said.

"You should know that Bloomberg provided us with no evidence to substantiate their claims and our internal investigations concluded their claims were simply wrong," a letter from George Stathakopoulos, Apple's Vice President of Information Security, said.

"Apple has never found malicious chips, “hardware manipulations” or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. We never alerted the FBI to any security concerns like those described in the article, nor has the FBI ever contacted us about such an investigation."

The letter added that "the so-called compromised servers were allegedly making outbound connections. Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found."

Apple shares fell 1% to $221.96 by midsession on Monday.

READ: Apple and Amazon refute Bloomberg allegations of hardware hack by Chinese spies

Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has redesigned its safety center in Europe, pleding to roll it out in the coming weeks and it is now available in six European countries, a reprort by The Android Police said.

Users in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands will be able to access the updated Safety Center. The launch coincides with the fact it is currently European Cyber Security Month.

As well as giving instructions on Google tools such as Privacy Checkup and My Activity, the Safety Center also links to external resources and organizations dealing with issues such as cyberbullying and child online safety.

Google stock declined 2.1% to $1,132.26.

Amazon.com Inc's (NASDAQ:AMZN) decision to raise the the hourly pay to $15 per our for all its employees has made life more difficult for other retailers bracing for the busiest time of the year in the Christmas holiday season, a report by CNN Business said.

An estimated 589,000 seasonal positions have been announced, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, and companies were already jockeying to attract workers with perks such as paid time off, transportation reimbursement, and higher pay in the tightest labor market in a generation.

Unlike Amazon, which has alternative revenue streams like advertising and its cloud computing business, a brick and mortar store has less wiggle room for wage hikes, the report said.

Amazon shares dropped 2.7% to $1,837.97.

READ: UK's High Court blocks suit against Google for collecting data from millions of iPhone users

Social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is dealing with a fresh hoax that takes the form of a 'chain mail' type of notice, a report by ABC News said.

The scam happens this way, according to the report: you receive a message from an existing Facebook friend telling you they've received a friend request from you. Then it says to check your account and instructs you to forward the message to all your friends. 

When that happens, someone will steal photos and personal information from an existing user's profile and create a second profile, "cloning" it and masquerading as that individual.

Facebook shares lost 0.94% to $155.85.

Around three-quarter of Americans share streaming services such as Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) along with their shopping and mobile accounts, a report by CNBC said.

They are sharing those accounts with their family, friends and even exes, according to a new study by Country Financial.

Entertainment services, such as Netflix and Hulu, were the most commonly shared with at least one other person, followed by mobile phone plans and shopping accounts like Amazon Prime or Costco, Country Financial found.
Younger adults were also more likely to use shared services, particularly ones like Uber or Lyft.

Netflix shares declined 3.25% to $339.

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