Can Apple be hacked? Apparently, yes

People wait on a set of stairs to get into the Apple store to purchase the new iPad on March 16, 2012 in New York City.

Apple is reporting some of its company computers were hacked on Tuesday and is laying the blame with an Internet plug-in called Java. U.S. Homeland Security officials warned earlier this year that Java software could be vulnerable to attacks.

"We are very familiar with business computers being breached, but those are all Windows machines," says Jim Finkle, who covers cybersecurity for Reuters. "This is the most significant breach of Macintosh computers at a corporation."

Apple says there is no evidence any data was taken during the attack, which is believed to have been carried out by the same group that recently breached Facebook’s computers.

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David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio
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"We are very familiar with business computers being breached, but those are all Windows machines"

All? Mr. Finkle obviously knows very little about cyber-security. If he even so much as subscribed to CERT alerts he would know that Apple software is prone to the same security vulnerabilities as everything else. We only hear more about windows machines because there are more of them out there (which is not to say I am impressed in the least with windows security compared to other platforms).

That said, standardized plugins are a major point of weakness in computer security; they present the advantage for an attacker, of the code being present in all the major platforms. This is once again a case of compatibility (and ease of distribution & use) vs. security. The most secure systems are the most closed and isolated systems; which also makes them less convenient to use. Which is most important to you? Most companies choose convenient.

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