Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the largest software maker, said a small number of its computers were infected by malicious software in a cyberattack similar to those experienced by Facebook Inc. (FB) and Apple Inc. (AAPL)
There’s no evidence that customers were affected, Microsoft said in a blog post yesterday. Some of the techniques were similar to those documented by others, and the investigation is ongoing, Microsoft said.
The incident follows recent attacks that hit more than 40 companies, including microblogging service Twitter Inc., and were linked to an Eastern European hacker gang trying to steal company secrets, Bloomberg News reported Feb. 20, citing two people familiar with the matter.
“This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries,” the company said in the blog post.
In the Apple breach, some the company’s internal Mac computers were infected by malware spread through an iPhone- developer website, according to the people familiar with law enforcement’s investigations. Apple said it had no evidence that any data was stolen.
Facebook, operator of the largest social network with more than 1 billion members, said Feb. 16 that some of its employees’ laptops were infected after visiting a mobile developer’s site. Twitter, the microblogging site with more than 200 million active users, said Feb. 2 that hackers may have accessed information on 250,000 users.
Security professionals call the recent incidents “waterhole attacks,” since the hackers were targeting a desirable class of victims -- in this case, software developers congregating at a communal gathering place, like a waterhole in the desert -- rather than specific companies.
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