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FBI Warns Of "Destructive Malware" After Attack On Sony

The FBI is warning businesses that hackers have used "destructive malware" to launch cyber attacks in the U.S.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation sent a secret five-page "flash" warning to U.S. businesses late Monday warning of cyber attacks which use "destructive malware" to wipe data and may be impossible to recover. The report also said the malware has the power to shut down computer networks.

"This malware has the capability to overwrite a victim host's master boot record and all data files," the report said, according to Reuters who independently obtained it. "The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods."

The warning did not name a specific victim, which is standard protocol, but it comes less than a week after Sony Entertainment was hacked and five films were leaked, including the new version of Annie.

During the attack on Nov. 24, Sony's email system at its California headquarters was hacked and its network seized with computers flashing a skeleton and the words "Hacked by #GOP," which stands for "Guardians of Peace."

The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating that attack on Sony and said that "the targeting of public and private sector computer networks remains a significant threat.''

Currently, the investigation is considering whether there is any link between Sony's upcoming film The Interview and North Korea. The country, which has slammed the movie that is about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, has refused to deny involvement in the cyber attack, according to the BBC.

Similar cyber attacks have been launched against companies based in South Korea and the Middle East, but if malware was indeed used against Sony, then it would be the first attack of its kind against a business in the United States, security experts said.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at michelle@buzzfeed.com.

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