In light of the costly cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to businesses in the United States about the release of a malicious software aimed at U.S. companies. The cyber attack launched by hackers could be the first of its kind to target businesses on U.S. soil.
While they are not certain, computer security experts believe the malware described in the alert could be the same one that breached the computer system at Sony and allowed people to download several of the companies most recent films. As reported by Reuters, similar cyber attacks have been launched before in Asia and the Middle East.
Although the FBI didn’t say how many companies have had their systems breached in the malware attacks, it is believed that a Saudi Arabian oil company, Saudi Aramco, was one of the businesses victimized. The malware launched in that attack managed to knock out over 30,000 computers and many believe the attack was launched by hackers either in North Korea or Iran.
The attack against Sony is still being investigated, but as the Inquisitr reported, experts believe that the malware was released by hackers based in North Korea. Sony suspects the Guardians of Peace, who is being blamed for the cyber attack, launched the malware to stop the release of a comedy called The Interview. The premise of the film involves two men making plans to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
The FBI issues “flash” warnings to businesses about potential threats in order for companies to defend their systems against any new forms of malware or other cyber attacks. As CNBC reported, the five-page warning was issued late Monday, and gives technical details about the malware that was released. Although the warning doesn’t describe a new cyber attack, it does include several pages of coding that was used in the attack against Sony.
The issued warning advised businesses that the malware overrides data on computer hard drives, rendering them inoperable and shutting down computer networks. The FBI says that once the malware has attacked hard drives, it is virtually impossible and expensive to try to recover those drives.
The Sony cyber attack led to five films being leaked online, including an updated version of Annie that is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 19. Over 1.2 million copies of the movies have been downloaded since Sony’s systems were hacked on November 24.
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