Add Microsoft to list of hacked companies

February 15th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

Updated to include Microsoft comment Security software companies must be smiling ear to ear as they read the news briefs coming off the transom. Microsoft said today that an undetermined number of computers in its Mac software business unit got infected with malware. The company said the number of infected PCs was small but that there was no indication customer data had been compromised.

In a blog post late Friday, Matt Thomlinson, who directs the company’s Trustworthy Computing Security program at Microsoft, wrote:

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. This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries (see our prior analysis of emerging threat trends). We continually re-evaluate our security posture and deploy additional people, processes, and technologies as necessary to help prevent future unauthorized access to our networks.

Welcome to the new normal. The escalating number of reported attacks was underscored by a recent report on malware put together by McAfee which reported that the number of trojans created to steal passwords rose about 72 percent in the last quarter.

Last week Apple said that an unknown number of Macs had been compromised, but that “there was no evidence any data left Apple.” The malware was tied back to a site targeting iPhone developers. Employee computers for Facebook and most likely dozens of other companies were also breached.

The incidents occurred roughly around the same time that The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post disclosed that outsiders had also targeted their employees’ computers.

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