FBI warns tech companies of a lethal malware in the wake of Sony hacks
In the wake of the devastating hacks at Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned top technology companies about a malware that overrides data on computer hard drives and prevents computers from booting up. In a five-page flash warning first reported by Reuters, the intelligence bureau has alerted the companies to be on a lookout for wiper malware. The documents doesn’t reveal the victim of the so called attack, but it does note that it is very similar to the malware used by attackers to gain access to the computers and network at Sony. The nature of these alerts are very critical, and the bureau only sends it to those companies which it thinks is in harm’s way. This wiper malware has been previously used in several high-profile attacks including the infamous Shamoon attack against Saudi oil company Aramco in 2012.
The malware manipulates the MBR (Master Boot Record) on a hard drive, making it incapable of any further booting hence inoperable. The timing of the alert coincides with mega hacks at Sony which saw several of its sensitive information including salaries of its employees, as well as login credentials of its servers leaked on the web. Earlier this week, copies of several of Sony’s unreleased movie titles also got leaked on the torrent websites.
According to several reports, it is believed that North Korean regime is behind all these leaks and attacks. The North Korean government finds Sony’s upcoming comedy title “The Interview” an act of war, and has warned “merciless retaliation” against US and other nations if the film is released. The plot of The Interview revolves around two celebrity journalists played by Seth Rogen and James Franco who score a rare interview with Supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un. They later get enlisted by CIA to kill him.