Hackers have released harmful malware that can wipe hard drives, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned. In a report, the bureau warned U.S. businesses that hackers have used malicious software to launch a destructive cyberattack in the country, following a devastating breach last week at Sony Pictures Entertainment. It did not say how many companies had been victims of destructive attacks, but said the malware overrides all data on hard drives of computers, including the master boot record, which prevents them from booting up. The attackers were “unknown.” The technical section of the FBI report said some of the software used by the hackers had been compiled in Korean, but it did not discuss any possible connection to North Korea.
The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods.