Feeds

Microsoft latest to 'fess up to Java-based Mac attack

Redmond experiences 'similar intrusion' to Facebook and Apple

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Microsoft appears to be the latest big tech firm to have been hit by cyber attackers targeting Macs with a zero-day Java vulnerability, following a sophisticated campaign which has already infected developers at Facebook and Apple.

In a blog post published late last Friday, Microsoft’s GM of Trustworthy Computing Security, Matt Thomlinson, explained that Redmond recently experienced a “similar security intrusion”.

He added the following:

"Consistent with our security response practices, we chose not to make a statement during the initial information gathering process. 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. We have no evidence of customer data being affected and our investigation is ongoing."

Thomlinson sought to reassure customers by claiming that Microsoft’s continual system of internal security evaluation means “additional people, processes, and technologies” can be deployed if gaps are found, in order to prevent similar incursions in the future.

The extent of the attack is still unclear, although some researchers are claiming hundreds of other companies may have had their Macs targeted in the same way. The large scale breach of Twitter earlier this month has been linked to the same Java zero-day vulnerability.

As for those behind the attack – the usual suspects of China and Eastern European hackers have been mentioned.

Last week, Apple finally patched the Java security hole in Mac OSX which was being exploited in the attack, a fortnight after Oracle’s pre-Patch-Tuesday' update fixed the same hole, in a move which will do nothing to reassure enterprise Mac users of the security of their platform.

Security researchers at Sophos are urging users to turn off Java in the browser as a matter of course in order to close down this growing area of risk.

All in all it was a pretty bad end to the week for Microsoft last Friday, after its Windows Azure storage cloud suffered a worldwide outage thanks to an expired SSL certificate. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.