In the latest wave of widespread hacker attacks against companies and organizations in the U.S., Apple (News - Alert) would appear to be the latest target. The hackers appear to be the same ones who targeted Facebook late last week.
Apple has confirmed that hackers infected the computers of some Apple employees who visited a website for software developers that had been infected with malicious software. The malware had been designed to attack Mac computers, the company said in a statement provided to Reuters (News - Alert).
Apple said there was no evidence that any critical data were compromised.
Apple told PC World that it will provide a security tool to block future attacks:
“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.”
While the hackers are being reported as “unknown” by Apple, Facebook (News - Alert) said the sophisticated attack it experienced last Friday originated from China.
Reuters is reporting that a Chinese military unit with secretive operations is believed to be behind many of the recent hacking attacks, a U.S. computer security company said. This accusation prompted a strong denial by China, which said it doubted the evidence that led to this conclusion, and counter accusations that the nation has actually been the victim of U.S. hacking.
The rising number of hacker attacks against U.S. companies and government organizations, as well as critical infrastructure such as power grids and water facilities, is causing some alarm in cyber security circles.
In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama said he planned to issue an executive order seeking better protection of the country's critical infrastructure from future cyber attacks.