Tag Archives: hacked

Microsoft says small number of its computers hacked

00-024SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp said on Friday a small number of its computers, including some in its Mac software business unit, were infected with malware, but there was no evidence of customer data being affected and it is continuing its investigation.

The world’s largest software company said the security intrusion was “similar” to recent ones reported by Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

The incident, reported on one of the company’s public blogs happened “recently”, but Microsoft said it chose not to make any statement publicly while it gathered information about the attack.

“This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries,” said Matt Thomlinson, general manager of Trustworthy Computing Security at Microsoft, in the company’s blog post.

Over the past week or so, both Apple and Facebook said computers used by employees were attacked after visiting a software developer website infected with malicious software.

The attacks come at a time of broader concern about computer security.

Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times , The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have  been infiltrated recently. Earlier this month US President Barack Obama issued an executive order seeking better protection of the country’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Copyright Reuters, 2013

Apple computers ‘hacked’ in breach

Macbook Air Apple said a vulnerability in Oracle’s Java programming language was used by the hackers Apple has said its computers were attacked by the same hackers who targeted Facebook.

The iPhone-maker said a small number of its machines were affected, but added there was “no evidence” of data theft.

Last week Facebook said it had traced a cyber attack back to China which had infiltrated employees’ laptops.

Apple said it would release a software update to protect customers against the malicious software used in the attack.

In a statement, the Cupertino, California-based firm said: “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.”

Java vulnerabilities

News of the hack comes as a US-based cyber security firm claimed to have pinpointed a specific building in Shanghai that was being used to house one of the world’s “most prolific cyber espionage groups”.

Mandiant said Unit 61398, part of the country’s People’s Liberation Army, was believed to have “systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data” from at least 141 organisations around the world.

China denied hacking and questioned the validity of Mandiant’s report.

Apple said it had taken measures to protect users from vulnerabilities in Java, a widely-used programming language that was found to have serious security flaws.

“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,” the company said.

“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.”

ATO denies taxpayer data at risk after agents hacked

The Tax Office (ATO) has confirmed that fraudsters have hacked at least four tax agents to access taxpayers’ personal information.

However, the Australian Tax Office says the agents that were hacked only had 20 customers between them.

“It has been reported today that taxpayer information is at risk after criminals stole the identity of four tax agents,” the ATO said in a statement.

“The report suggested that all Australian taxpayers’ information was under threat. This is incorrect.”

The ATO says the agents’ sign-ins to the ATO system have now been cancelled, and the personal information of taxpayers who complete their own returns has not been compromised.

“We are working with the affected tax agents to ensure their practices and information is secure,” the ATO added.

Tony Greco, the senior tax adviser with the Institute of Public Accountants, says they have also advised tax agents to keep their systems secure.

“The issue here is agents’ digital certificate security being breached. Once you get into an agent’s database or portal access you have access to all their clients,” he said.

“So in that case their tax file numbers could be compromised and a lot of personal information becomes accessible.”

Topics: tax, business-economics-and-finance, fraud-and-corporate-crime, hacking, australia

First posted February 08, 2013 16:17:29