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Old 02-12-14, 15:06   #1
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Arrow Right FBI Warns of Destructive Malware

FBI Steps in to Warn Businesses of 'Destructive' Attack by Hackers, as it Emerges that Brad Fitt's Fury has been Illegally Downloaded 1.5MILLION Times Since it was Stolen in Sony Pictures Hack

  • The FBI is investigating the cyber attack on Sony Pictures last week
  • Annie remake and Fury are among five features leaked online from Sony
  • North Korea has since refused to deny involvement in the the breach
  • A group called Guardians of Peace has claimed responsibility for the attack
  • Cyber attackers warned they could release ' top secrets' from their servers
Daily Mail UK, 2 December 2014

The FBI has alerted businesses to destructive cyber attacks, after Sony Pictures was hacked last week allowing Brad Pitt's film Fury to be illegally downloaded 1.5 million times.

Four unreleased films have also been made available on the internet since the attack on Monday, including a remake of 1982 musical Annie and Mr Turner, a biopic about the eccentric British painter.
A group calling themselves Guardians of Peace froze Sony Pictures' computer systems worldwide, posting a message that warned it would release 'top secrets' unless its 'request be met'.

Brad Pitt's new movie Second World War drama Fury has been illegally downloaded 1.5 million times

By last night, the hotly anticipated Annie, starring Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx, had been illegally download 220,000 times, according to Excipio, an IT forensics firm that tracks breaches of copyright.

Mr Turner had been downloaded 74,000 times, Still Alice - a drama, starring Julianne Moore, about a psychologist who is found to have Alzheimer's disease - was downloaded 118,00 times and To Write Love on Her Arms had been downloaded 24,000 time.

Second World War drama Fury, starring Pitt alongside Shia LaBeouf, is currently showing at cinemas but it has not yet been released on DVD.

Without naming any affected companies, the FBI on Monday warned businesses about the threat of an extremely dangerous new malware. Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating to determine if hackers from North Korea were responsible for breaking into their server and shutting their computer system down

It was the fifth most downloaded on the popular BitTorrent file-sharing platform last week, according to TorrentFreak news website, and the tenth most popular film on the Pirate Bay file-sharing website.
According to website Re/code, Sony and security consultants were investigating the possibility that someone acting on behalf of North Korea, possibly from China, was responsible for the hacking attack.

The hotly-anticipated Annie remake backed by Jay Z has been released online after a 'cyber attack'

The hack came just under a month before Sony Pictures was due to release The Interview, which is a comedy about two journalists, played by Seth Rogen and James Franco, who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Pyongyang government denounced the film as 'undisguised sponsoring of terrorism, as well as an act of war' in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June.
Re/code said a link to North Korea had not been confirmed but it had not been ruled out.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Sony Pictures was investigating every possibility, adding no link to North Korea has been uncovered.
But North Korea has refused to deny involvement in a cyber attack.

When asked if the country was involved in the cyber attack a spokesman for the North Korean government would only reply:

'Wait and see.'
'I personally don't care if (the movie's) disrespectful to Kim because he's evil. But that's not the intent,' Rogen posted on Twitter on Sunday.
'North Korea has produced tons of propaganda films that portray America's destruction.'

The FBI's five-page, confidential 'flash' warning issued to businesses late on Monday provided some technical details about the malicious software that was used in the attack, though it did not name the victim.
An FBI spokesman declined comment when asked if the software had been used against the California-based unit of Sony Corp.

The FBI occasionally issues 'flash' warnings to provide businesses with details about emerging cyber threats to help them defend against new types of attacks. It does not name the victims of those attacks in those reports.

The FBI did, however, confirm to the Associated Press that they are investigating an attack - though not specifically the type outlined in the flash warning - that was made on Sony and caused major internal computer problems at its film studio last week.

Sony's corporate email and other internal systems were knocked offline, according to reports by Variety and other trade publications.

The Interview stars James Franco (left) as a host of a tabloid television show and Seth Rogan (right) as the show's producer. They are given a rare interview with the North Korea dictator but the CIA tries to turn them into killers

Sony workers reportedly saw a message appear on their computer screens that said 'Hacked by (hash)GOP,' which may be the initials of a group calling itself Guardians of Peace.

According to one insider who spoke to industry website,

'Every PC in the company is useless and all of the content files have either been stolen or destroyed or locked away.'

No demands have been issued by the hackers but a Reddit thread outlined the data allegedly mined by the Guardians of Peace.
This includes A-list actors' passports, their bank details, salaries for film appearances, their password information and also email correspondences.

The Interview movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogan

According to the Reddit thread, the actors who have had their data compromised included Jonah Hill, Cameron Diaz and Angelina Jolie.
California-based Sony Pictures said in a statement Monday that it is continuing 'to work through issues related to what was clearly a cyber attack last week'.
The company has restored a number of important services to ensure ongoing business continuity and is working closely with law enforcement officials to investigate the matter.'

Along with the FBI, Sony has brought in forensic experts from the Mandiant division of FireEye, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity company, according to a source familiar with the case who did not want to be named because the companies have not yet announced the arrangement.

It is rumoured that Sony has a hunch the hermit kingdom had a hand in hacking into their system a month before the release of The Interview, which North Korea has denounced as an act of war

Mandiant helps companies determine the extent of breaches and repair damages. The firm has worked on other high-profile computer breaches, including the one at Target last year.
Monday's FBI report said that the malware overrides data on hard drives of computers which can make them inoperable and shut down networks.
It is extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover hard drives that have been attacked with the malware, according to the report, which was distributed to security professionals at U.S. companies.

Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx in Annie trailer


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