Hackers are hijacking Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) computers using the Reddit social media webpage. Russian researchers from an antivirus company called Dr. Web reported over 17,000 Macs (with 1,227 in the United Kingdom) were infected with malware called Mac.BackDoor.iWorm.
A closer look at the Mac worm
This particular type of malware allows hackers to access computers remotely through a communication system which manipulates search and comment features on Reddit. After a hacker gains access to computer, they can send commands to a botnet of infected machines. Such commands include denial-of-service or to launch spam campaigns.
Right now the affected computers are not being used for attack purposes. But as of last Friday at least 17,658 Mac computers were discovered and that number could grow.
This wasn’t the first time Apple Mac computers were hacked into
Graham Cluley, security researcher, explained in a blog post, “This isn’t, of course, the first time that we have seen Mac computers infected by malware and hijacked into a criminal botnet, and it isn’t anything like as big so far as the notorious Flashback worm which hit more than 600,000 Mac computers in early 2012. But it is another timely warning that Mac users shouldn’t be fooled into thinking they are somehow immune from computer security threats. An anti-virus product should be part of your arsenal, if you value your privacy and the data you store on your Apple computer.”
Lancope’s chief technology officer TK Keanini also mentioned that the botnet will evolve when countermeasures are put into place forcing hackers to create new innovations. He also mentioned how less than a decade ago, tech users would drop Windows for Apple computers over security reasons. Nowadays, any computer operating system is fair game.
Last month, Apple got into trouble over personal images of celebrities which were leaked from iCloud. The company’s CEO Tim Cook assured everyone his company would take steps to protect privacy and security for users in the near future.