In a rare public admission, Apple has indicated that some of its own internal Macintoshes have been compromised in a cyberattack that security researchers believe similar to the one that breached Facebook last week. Announcements from Apple of this type are very rare, as Apple has long touted one of the strengths of its platform was how “unhackable” it was compared to Windows. In this particular case, Apple has little to lose, as it’s pointing the finger of blame for the hack at Java and a vulnerability that was taken advantage of to gain access to Apple employee computers.
What this means for you:
Apple’s recent breach is just one more notch in cybercrime’s belt that includes a long list of illustrious companies like the Wall Street Journal, Twitter, Facebook, Jeep, and Burger King, not to mention the numerous intrusions of government agencies and countless hacks of businesses that go unnoticed and un-reported. In the case of the Apple and Facebook breaches, the source has been tied to a mobile development website that both company’s employees accessed, and according to both companies, there appeared to be no evidence that customer data was compromised in the attacks. As I’ve maintained all along, the business world is now entering a new age of security unknowns as serious criminals continue to exploit technology to serve their needs, and are able to outspend and outgun the average small and medium size business. Before the age of computers and the internet, your odds of being targeted by a criminal organization were minute compared to today, where organized crime can now “crowd-source” affiliate-based networks that pay anonymous hackers in any number of a dozen untraceable ways to rent out zombified computers and webservers by the hour for a handful of dollars, and use pre-scripted attacks to launch massive, shot-gun targeted campaigns that only need to snag a small percentage of victims in order to be profitable. This is not some imaginative, cyberpunk movie plot – it’s happening right now, as you read this article. Moving forward, the only way to combat this growing threat will be a combination of vigilance and smart investments in security technology, policy and training.