Apple Attacked by Facebook Hackers [Update]

Hack! Artist's Rendition of Actual Hacker Attack

Apple Inc. was attacked by the same group of hackers that went after Facebook. In an exclusive, Reuters reported that Apple acknowledged the attack on Macs belonging to its employees, but said there was no evidence, "there was no evidence that any data left Apple."

The company is promising a software release to protect against the specific software used in the attack later on Tuesday.

Facebook admitted last week that it had been the subject of a "sophisticated attack" on computers used by its engineers. The attackers used a zero-day Java exploit to initiate the attack, but that no user data was compromised.

Some reports have said that the Facebook hackers were based in China, and the New York Times, Twitter, and other large U.S. companies have also claimed to be the target of attacks originating from that country.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Update: Apple provided The Mac Observer with a statement on the attack, included in full below:

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.

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.