Thousands of Mac computers reportedly infected

There are reports that 600,000 Apple computers around the world have been infected with a virus that has since been contained. As Apple has become more popular, its products have also become a more attractive target for hackers.

Jeremy Hobson: There are reports that 600,000 Apple computers around the world have been infected with a virus. The company has released a fix to protect customers.

The news is especially surprising because Apple computers have long been considered all but immune to viruses. Perhaps not anymore. Marketplace's David Gura reports.


David Gura: These Apple users thought they were downloading a run-of-the-mill software update. But when they installed it on their computer, they also got what's called a "bot." Updates like this are how a lot of these viruses get spread.

Alan Woodward: You might not know. That's part of the problem.

Alan Woodward teaches computer science at the University of Surrey. With bots, hackers can use your computer to steal account information and attack other machines.

Cyber security expert Boris Sharov discovered this virus. He says that for years, Apple said its software is more-secure than Microsoft's.

Boris Sharov: They have taken this point as a very strong competitive advantage.

But now that Apple computers have become more popular, they're a more attractive target for hackers. So now, Alan Woodward says the company has to show it is committed to cyber security.

Woodward: If you don't take it seriously, then your customers are going to make alternative arrangements, I think is the best way to put it.

This bot has been contained, and Apple says its patch will prevent similar attacks in the future.

In Washington, I'm David Gura for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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