Apple confirms cyber attack, will release security tool
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
The words “Apple” and “security breach” don’t often appear together, but on Tuesday the company said that some computers belonging to its employees had been targeted by hackers originating from China—the same group, reportedly, that last week infiltrated computers belonging to Facebook employees. The story was first reported by Reuters.
In an email, Apple provided Macworld with a statement on the breach, saying:
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.
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.
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The Obama administration says the U.S. will continue to strengthen its defenses and discuss cyber theft with top Chinese officials following a security report that blamed China's military for recent cyberattacks on key industries. (Feb. 19)