At least 40 companies including Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. were targeted in malware attacks linked to an Eastern European gang of hackers that is trying steal company secrets, two people familiar with the matter said.
Apple, one of three victims to publicly disclose attacks this month, said some of its internal Mac systems were affected by a malware attack. The hackers used an iPhone-developer website, according to the people familiar with law enforcement efforts, including investigations by the FBI and Secret Service, and didn’t want to be identified because of the probe.
“We identified a small number of systems within Apple that were infected and isolated them from our network,” Cupertino, California-based Apple said yesterday in a statement. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple. We are working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.”
The hackers appear to be seeking company secrets, research and intellectual property they can sell underground, the people familiar with the matter said. While such attacks have previously been associated with China, sophisticated criminals in other countries have now successfully hacked corporate networks.