Report: Apple hack compromised ‘hundreds’ of other companies

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 14:59 EDT
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An Apple store. Photo: Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com.
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A hack on Apple computers has infected systems at hundreds of the company’s clients in the largest cyber attack the company has ever faced, a person briefed on the investigation told Reuters on Tuesday.

The hack used the same exploit in Oracle’s Java software that Facebook warned of Friday, saying several employee computers were compromised by “sophisticated” hackers using custom tools but that no user information was exposed.

“Facebook was not alone in this attack,” the social network warned on Feb. 15. “It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well. As one of the first companies to discover this malware, we immediately took steps to start sharing details about the infiltration with the other companies and entities that were affected. We plan to continue collaborating on this incident through an informal working group and other means.”

Apple’s statement to Reuters on Tuesday seems to indicate they were also affected by this hack, but it’s impossible to say if the same hackers were behind it. The company did not comment on how many of its clients saw systems affected, but a source told Reuters the number is in the “hundreds,” and includes defense contractors.

“Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers,” the company’s statement explained. “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.”

An Apple spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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