A few years ago, we though Apple computers were immune to malware. It was a sales pitch, Apple used to market its healthy hardware. Now Chinese hackers have found Apple’s weak spot and have compromised several Apple employees’ computers. It was a surprise for me to learn that Apple was no longer free of malware, but I guess nothing stays perfect forever.
According to MacRumors, a number of Macs owned by Apple employees were compromised by the same China-based hackers that targeted Facebook employees recently, reports All Things D. The malware entered the systems through the Java plug-in, which Apple has blocked recently due to unpatched security vulnerabilities.
“Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers,” the company said in a statement to AllThingsD. “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.”
I understand Apple will also be releasing a standalone malware removal tool to clean infected machines. They have to do it, and do it soon if they want to avoid customers jumping ship.
The New York Times published an article yesterday laying out how a number of recent hacking attacks against U.S. corporations could be linked to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Obama administration officials say they are planning to tell China’s new leaders in coming weeks that the volume and sophistication of the attacks have become so intense that they threaten the fundamental relationship between Washington and Beijing.
The United States finds itself in something of an asymmetrical digital war with China. “In the cold war, we were focused every day on the nuclear command centers around Moscow,” one senior defense official said recently. “Today, it’s fair to say that we worry as much about the computer servers in Shanghai.”
Mr. Obama alluded to this concern in the State of the Union speech, without mentioning China or any other nation. “We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets,” he said. “Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air-traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing.”
Macs have traditionally been viewed as significantly more secure than Windows machines, though in the past year there have been a number of compromised machines from the Flashback malware and issues with Java.
If you are an Apple computer user, be careful, there are malignant people out there trying to make a dent in your shining armor. Caveat. Good Day.