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FBI Detects Malware That Can Override Hard Drive of Major Businesses

        

Thanksgiving this year didn’t go well for many American businesses after they received a warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that a destructive malware was on the prowl and has the potential to override hard drives. The FBI sent a five-page document to all IT teams working at major US businesses and notified them that hackers were using a new kind of malware to attack company computers. As soon as the report about the malware was made official, security experts have declared a high alert situation until the problem is solved. Though the FBI made its best effort to keep the identities of the malware’s targets under wraps, but experts believe that Sony Corporation might be the latest and biggest victim of the malicious code, which is not entirely false. An anonymous hacker group, called Guardians of Peace (GOP), took responsibility for the attack and vowed to continue their attacks against big businesses. One wild assumption coming from security experts is that North Korea might be involved in the attacks. The later assumption, it seems has more to do with the West’s fear of the nuclear armed Asian country.

The report contained technical information on the malware and drove most businesses to take preventive measures on an emergency basis. According to the report the malware was capable of overriding hard drives of target computers. The highly destructive malware can also shut down and permanently deactivate computers, thus making them completely useless because it is impossible to retrieve files from the computer after the attack.

In the last days of November this year, Sony Pictures was hit by a cyber attack that shut down all company computers and also allowed hackers to leak unreleased movies, including Fury, Mr. TurnerAnnie and Still Alice. The GOP claims to have gotten hold of important internal data and the group has threatened to make the data public if their demands were not met. The same group has also shared downloadable links with the public that obviously included unreleased movies under Sony Picture’s banner.

Sony Pictures Complete Shut Down

The last we heard from Sony was that its employees were still locked out of their computers. A member of the GOP who identified himself as “Lena” corresponded via email with reporters and said the following about his group’s intention to hack into private computers, “We want equality. Sony doesn’t. It’s an upward battle.” This statement clearly suggests that it’s not money these hackers are after, but still their demands are not quite clear.

Repercussions Of The Leaks

GOP has vowed to make available around 100 terabytes of data on the web. Obviously, it would mean that Sony would head towards disaster if such a large amount of company data is released online for the public to see. Also, Sony should brace itself for a long battle to save its reputation after the data breach incident.

Gender Inequality

The GOP’s malware hit on Sony Pictures has revealed much more information than the company would have liked to have shared with the general public. For instance, a leaked spreadsheet contained the salaries of more than 6,000 Sony Pictures employees, which also included names of top executives. According to the details found in the spreadsheet, the highest earning people in the company were almost all white men. From among the 17 top paid executives at Sony Pictures almost 15 are white males, thus showing that the top positions are with 94 percent male, and among them 88 percent are white.

It Can Happen With The Rest

The FBI warning was spot on because bringing down the computers of a multi-billion dollar company is no small task. This attack also happened because Sony Pictures seemed a bit relaxed when it came to looking after the security of their systems. Like other efficient and destructive malware doing the rounds on the internet, this particular malware would also cause a lot of problems for every business that has a strong presence in the global market. For now, business owners would do well to follow the guidelines set by the FBI to protect their data and keep the security of their computing systems at a near perfect condition. Just keep this in mind; if it can happen with Sony Pictures, it can also happen with the rest.

        

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