The FBI has issued a confidential report to businesses in the wake of the Sony Pictures hack which explains that U.S. businesses should remain vigilant against new malicious software that can be used to launch "destructive" cyberattacks.

While the report doesn't name the Sony incident, it describes an attack that cybersecurity experts tell Reuters is large-scale hack that took down the Hollywood company. The hack is said to "mark [the] first major destructive cyber attack waged against a company on U.S. soil." Similar attacks have taken place in Asia and the Middle East, but not the United States until

The report provides a little insight into how the malware works, explaining how it overrides data on hard drives, including the master boot record which prevents computers from booting. The message is clear: businesses should contact the FBI as soon as they think they may have been exposed to the malware. FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell explained:

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"The FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations. This data is provided in order to help systems administrators guard against the actions of persistent cyber criminals."

It remains unclear where the attack originated from, though there is some speculation that hackers were working on behalf of North Korea. But regardless of its origins, it looks like the U.S. ought brace itself for more major malware attacks in the future. [Reuters]

Image by Oleksiy & Tetyana under Creative Commons license.

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