Apple’s own computers hacked

Computer giant Apple has revealed that its own computers were hacked last week. The attack, according to a statement, was by the hackers who also targeted Facebook.

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According to Apple, a small number of its machines were affected, but no evidence of data theft was found. The company said that it will be releasing a software update to protect customers against the malware.

The statement said: "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."

Last week Facebook said it had traced a cyber attack which had compromised employees' laptops, to China. This is borne out by a claim by US cyber security firm Mandiant, who say they have pinpointed a specific building in Shanghai that was being used to house one of the world's "most prolific cyber espionage groups". Unit 61398, part of the country's People's Liberation Army, was believed to have "systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data" from at least 141 organisations globally. The claim is denied by the Chinese.

Apple says it had taken measures to protect users from vulnerabilities in Java. "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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