Microsoft the latest to be hit by hackers

The Microsoft logo seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris
The Microsoft logo seen on a tablet screen on December 4, 2012 in Paris. Microsoft joined Facebook and Apple on the list of US technology titans targeted in recent cyberattacks.

Microsoft joined Facebook and Apple on the list of US technology titans targeted in recent cyberattacks.

"As reported by and Apple, Microsoft can confirm that we also recently experienced a similar security intrusion," Trustworthy Computing team general manager Matt Thomlinson said in a blog post.

"During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations."

There was no evidence customer data was stolen but an investigation into the attack was continuing, according to Thomlinson.

"This type of is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries," he said.

Apple said Tuesday that hackers invaded its system in an attack similar to one recently carried out against Facebook, but that it repelled the intruders before its data was plundered.

The maker of iPhones, , iPods and said it was working with to hunt down the hackers, who appeared tied to a series of recent cybe attacks on US technology firms.

"The malware was employed in an attack against Apple and other companies, and was spread through a website for software developers," Apple told AFP.

The malicious software, or malware, took advantage of a vulnerability in a Java program used as a "plug-in" for Web-browsing programs.

A "small number" of computer systems at Apple were infected but they were isolated from the main network, according the Silicon Valley-based company.

"There is no evidence that any data left Apple," Apple said.

Word of hackers hitting Apple came just days after leading social network Facebook said it was "targeted in a " last month, but that no user data was compromised.

Facebook said malware that infected some of its machines came from a mobile developer website that had been booby-trapped.

Early this month, Twitter said it was hammered by a cyberattack similar to those that recently hit major Western news outlets, and that the passwords of about 250,000 users were stolen.

While those behind the attacks had yet to be identified, computer security industry specialists have expressed suspicions about China-sponsored hackers and Eastern European crime gangs.

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(c) 2013 AFP

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User comments

Feb 23, 2013
It is too clear and an ominous and foreboding cloud as arrived on the horizon. The nation-state backed and funded attacks are harbingers of extreme peril and danger. One day soon, something will be endangered, whose apparent worth or value seemed modest. But was the 'trip wire' that led to an avalanche of events that demanded a penultimate response - that led to an ultimate end.
Cyber-exploit has no START-Treaty, but it IS a strategic arms race!
One 'hack' too many, lives in the basement of a Beijing apartment building. A Moscow, backroom...A Denver garage...a Cairo library...a Jerusalem parlor. It appears as one thing and aims at a small target and it endangers, for example, all air traffic control over north america. Now something or someone has to be destroyed. You can call the premier of Shanghai or Beijing all you want. They can't do anything without disclosing too much, lives are at stake, quite by accident but, there is only ONE timely response to save them. Fix This!

Feb 23, 2013
Perhaps system developers and application developers should be held accountable for the weaknesses that they leave in their systems. Not counting the backdoors left intentionally there are still a bunch of weaknesses that are left there simply by negligence and possibly by government order. Also, the people that install applications that are not signed should have to answer to someone. It's hard to charge someone for illegal entry when the door is left wide open!

Feb 24, 2013
ominous and foreboding cloud

Dark and stormy?

There's no single vector. A simple, single prophylaxis is unrealistic.

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