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Apple Confirms Malware Attack, Will Release Updated Malware Removal Tool

Apple on Tuesday acknowledged that Mac OS X computers at the Cupertino, California-based company were attacked and infected with malware.

The attack is assumed to be the same one Facebook acknowledged on Friday that it fell victim to, which used zero-day exploit taking advantage of a flaw in Oracle’s Java software.

Apple Hit By MalwareLast week, Facebook said that hackers appeared to be targeting developers and technology firms based on a website that was "booby-trapped" with malicious code.

As it turns out, Apple was included in the victim list, and in a rare occurrence, acknowledged that hackers had hit its systems with some level of success.

"Apple has identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers,” an Apple spokesperson told SecurityWeek. “The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers.”

While attackers managed to penetrate Apple’s systems and infect a limited number with malware, the tech giant said there is no evidence that data was taken.

“We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network,” Apple said. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple.”

Apple also told SecurityWeek that it would release a software utility later today to protect users from malware used in the attacks.

“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,” Apple said in a statement.

“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."

That company said that it was working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware. 

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.