Largest known cyber attack targeting Apple computers – vulnerable machines used to attack Facebook, Twitter

// February 20th, 2013 // Hacking and Security


Dying Apple logoApple announced yesterday (2/19/13) that hackers had infected Macintosh computers of employees using an exploit in Oracle’s Java software stack.  The attack is largest known cyber attack targeting Apple computers.  The malware is believed to have originated from an iPhone developer website ( and was later used to launch massive attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and “other companies”.  Apple’s official statement explained:

“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.”

It is uncertain if the attack originated from China.  One expert noted:

“This is a new campaign. It’s not like the other ones you read about where everyone can tell it’s China.”

Apple disclosed the breach as tensions are heating up over U.S. allegations that the Chinese military engages in cyber espionage on U.S. companies.  U.S. cyber security firm Mandiant reported over the weekend that it has uncovered evidence that the Chinese military is behind a slew of cyber attacks on U.S. businesses. The White House said it has repeatedly raised concerns about Chinese cyber theft with Beijing.

“This is the first really big attack on Macs,” one source told Reuters, who declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. “Apple has more on its hands than the attack on itself.”


Sources: Reuters
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