Apple has announced via a Reuters report that it has also been attacked by hackers and that a ‘small number’ of its computers were infected. According to quotes given to the publication, Apple says that it was targeted by the same group that hit Facebook and ‘other companies’, likely including Twitter, which also disclosed a hacking incident recently.
Apple says that it is working with law enforcement to identify the hackers and that “there is no evidence that any data left Apple.”
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A statement given by Apple to All Things D notes that this was the same Java zero-day bug that was used to attack Facebook:
Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers. The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers. We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network. There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.
Apple added more in a statement to The Loop:
Since OS X Lion, Macs have shipped without Java installed, and as an added security measure OS X automatically disables Java if it has been unused for 35 days. To protect Mac users that have installed Java, today we are releasing an updated Java malware removal tool that will check Mac systems and remove this malware if found,
Apple recently (and frequently) disabled Java on customers’ Mac computers in order to protect them from Java issues, which have been on the rise.
Apple says that it will be releasing a software tool later today that will allow users to protect themselves against the kind of hack used against it and Facebook.
President Obama announced during the State of the Union that he had signed an Executive Order around cybersecurity, a speech at which Apple’s Tim Cook was in attendance. Recently, hacks from China have targeted media companies like the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Update: This article originally stated that the malware attacks against Apple originated from China, but both Reuters and Bloomberg are pointing to cyber-criminals in Eastern Europe as the likely culprits.