Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced Tuesday that some of its employees’ computers were attacked by the same hackers that infiltrated Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) in January. No data appears to have been stolen, and as soon as the attack was discovered, affected computers were isolated from the rest of the network.
The tech company explained in an official statement: “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 are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware. 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.”
Both the Apple and Facebook attacks took advantage of a vulnerability in Java, leading the Department of Homeland Security to issue a statement encouraging users to disable the software in their Internet browsers until it is fixed. The malware was partially distributed through an iPhone developer website, so security firm F-Secure hypothesizes that the hackers were attempting to access code that would allow them to infect millions of end-users.