Apple Says It Was Targeted By The Same Hackers That Hit Facebook, Will Release Protection Software Tuesday

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Apple has revealed that it was attacked by the same group that went after Facebook in a recent attempt to break that network’s security. The company says a “small number” of its employees’ Macs were affected, but there is “no evidence that any data left Apple,” according to a report by Reuters. The company will be issuing software to prevent customers from being attacked in the same manner, Apple said.

Apple’s report follows the news from Facebook on Friday that it was targeted by hackers apparently operating out of China. Facebook also reported that none of its users’ data was compromised through the attack. Apple is said to be workign with law enforcement on trying to find the source of the hacking attempt, and will be releasing a software tool aimed at its customers to help them protect their own Macs against the malware used by the unidentified assailant.

The goal for both Apple and Facebook, in being the source of these reports about attacks on their own companies is to be proactive and get out ahead of the news, in order to reassure customers that they’re doing everything possible to ensure the security of any data they hold. The object lesson of Sony’s PlayStation network breach, and the ensuing criticism and lawsuits that resulted from it being perceived as “slow” to notify outsiders of the attack is probably one cause of heightened transparency on the part of companies facing cyber-security threats.

For Apple, admitting to a security breach is a rare occurrence. The company acknowledged some 400 iTunes accounts were hacked back in 2010 in response to customer complaints, but this kind of pre-emptive move indicates that we’re likely dealing with a different level of security threat altogether. On the plus side, account data seems not to have been leaked, and this means authorities will have the help of two technology giants and their considerable resources in tracking the perpetrators down.