Joe Stewart, director of malware research at Dell SecureWorks, a unit of Dell Inc., speaks to a colleague in front of a pair of large wall mounted monitors in his office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, U.S., Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. S
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images
December 2, 2014 10:53 AM EST

A devastating malware attack used against Sony Pictures Entertainment last week could be a threat to other businesses as well.

In a five-age confidential warning first reported by Reuters, the FBI describes malicious software used in an attack that appeared similar to that used against Sony, though it didn’t mention the company by name. The FBI report provided technical advice to other businesses on how to respond to the malware.

The attack against Sony shut down the company’s email and other key systems for a week shortly before the holiday season, when the company will release several big-name movies. Several of Sony’s titles leaked online shortly after the hack before most of them even made it to theaters.

The FBI document warned of malware that overrides data on computer hard drives and prevents computers from being booted up. The agency said it was investigating the attack, while Sony said it hired FireEye’s Mandiant response team to help clean up the company’s systems.

Some reports have tied the attack to North Korea, which has promised retaliation for an upcoming Sony comedy about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


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