Monday 15 December 2014

FBI warns of ‘destructive’ malware in wake of Sony attack

According to the recent reports, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has already intimated all the businesses in The United States of America, that the hackers have been using malicious software to launch a destructive cyber attack in the United States of America.

This was announced post the devastating breach that took place at Sony Pictures Entertainment last week. As per the Cyber security experts, the malicious software that has been described in the FBI alert looks to be describing the software that affected Sony.

This can be considered as the first key destructive cyber attack waged against a company operating on the soil of the United States of America. Until now, these kind of attacks has been seen in the Middle East and Asia, but nothing has been reported in the United States of America. At present, the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not disclosed as to how many companies have actually been victimized by these destructive attacks.

Confidential "flash" warning

According to Tom Kellermann, who is the chief cyber security officer with security software maker Trend Micro Inc, this synchronized cyber attack with the destructive payloads against a business in America clearly represents a turning point event.

For these destructive cyber attacks, Geopolitics will serve as the forerunners. The 5 page confidential "flash" warning issued by the FBI was released for the businesses on Monday; it has all the technical details pertaining to the malicious software that was used on this attack.

As per the reports, the malware has the ability to overrides all data stored on the hard drives of computers, which includes the master boot record. Due to this, the computers will not be able to boot. The reports also highlights that if the companies are unable to restore their data through the standard forensic methods, then overwriting of the data files will become more costly and extremely difficult.

This document was sent through mail with the clear instruction of not sharing the same with anyone else. This document was released post the unprecedented attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which affected the entire systems and the email line of the company. This has affected the company as they have crucial movies to be released during the holiday season.

The company’s spokeswoman stated that they are working with the federal and law enforcement officials to check on this issue and the company has been able to restore some of their important services. She declined to comment on the warning issued by FBI.

Actions currently being taken

Currently the FBI is working along with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate these attacks while FireEye Inc's has been hired by Sony to carry out the post attack clean up. Although FBI didn’t reveal the name of the victim of this attack; cyber security experts stated that it is a California-based unit of Sony Corp.

According to technical section of the report, some of the software used in this attacks have been compiled in Korea but no correction has been established with North Korea.

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