A secret 5-page “flash” went to security professionals at companies and other businesses across the U.S. Monday, warning of “malicious software” being used in hack attacks on America.
The warning issued by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) provided technical details about the malicious software being used in the attack but omitted the name of the specific target.
The report said the malware overrides data on hard drives of computers, which can make them inoperable and shut down networks. It is extremely costly and difficult – if not impossible – to recover the data from hard drives attacked by the malware, according to the report.
The warning follows a cyber attack last week that ravaged the computer system at Sony Pictures Entertainment. It tore the protection from at least five motion pictures that were in production but not yet ready for release, and uploaded them to the Internet for direct public viewing.
An FBI spokesperson declined to comment when asked if the malware had been used against the California-based unit of Sony Corp, Reuters reported.
Israel has been a frequent target of cyber attacks. Hackers linked to numerous international organizations declared a ‘day of attack’ against Israeli websites last month, calling November 14 “another round in the cyber war against Israel.”
Dr. Tal Pavel of International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism – an Israeli expert on cyber security and the Arab Internet — issued the warning about the attack. The post was based on a report in Arabic on several Palestinian Authority web sites, among others, claiming to be a response to “the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Al Aqsa Mosque.”