More than 600,000 Apple Inc. Mac computers were affected by a hacking attack, a sign that the once rarely targeted company is becoming a bigger focus for people intent on spreading malware.
The attack affects computers running Apple’s Mac OS X software, according to Russian antivirus software maker Doctor Web.
Most of the infected computers are in the United States and Canada, the firm said in a blog posting.
Apple fixed a security hole last week that let the malicious software spread. Users who haven’t downloaded the necessary updates are vulnerable.
Apple spokesman Bill Evans declined to comment on the hacker attack. He noted that there are 63 million Macs in use worldwide.
Macs have historically been an unappealing hacking target because of their low market share. Instead, criminals have attacked personal computers running Microsoft Corp.’s Windows software, seeking the biggest number of victims for illicit moneymaking schemes, as Bloomberg stated.
To be mentioned that the attack is an especially harmful variety that infects computers without user interaction.
To get hit, users just need to visit a poisoned webpage and the infection happens silently in the background. The vulnerability that allows the attack to take place exists in Java, the widely used programming language for building web pages.
The malicious software first appeared in September and has gone through a number of transformations since then, targeting Macs and generally being used to steal personal information such as passwords.