Exclusive: Apple, Macs hit by hackers who targeted Facebook

Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:50pm EST
 

By Jim Finkle and Joseph Menn

BOSTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc was recently attacked by hackers who infected Macintosh computers of some employees, the company said Tuesday in an unprecedented disclosure describing the widest known cyber attacks targeting Apple computers used by corporations.

Unknown hackers infected the computers of some Apple workers when they visited a website for software developers that had been infected with malicious software. The malware had been designed to attack Mac computers.

The same software, which infected Macs by exploiting a flaw in a version of Oracle Corp's Java software used as a plug-in on Web browsers, was used to launch attacks against Facebook, which the social network disclosed on Friday.

The malware was also employed in attacks against Mac computers used by "other companies," Apple said, without elaborating on the scale of the assault.

Twitter, which disclosed that it had been breached February 1 and that hackers might gave accessed some information on about 250,000 users, was hit in the same campaign, according to a person close to the investigation.

Another person briefed on the case said that hundreds of companies, including defense contractors, had been infected with the same malicious software. Though this person said that the malware could have originated from China, there was no proof.

"This is a new campaign. It's not like the other ones you read about where everyone can tell it's China," the first person said.

Investigations into the breaches are ongoing. It was not immediately clear when the attacks had begun, the extent to which the hackers had succeeded in stealing data from targeted systems, or whether all infected machines have been identified.   Continued...

 
The Apple logo hangs in a glass enclosure above the 5th Ave Apple Store in New York, September 20, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson