The Federal Bureau of Investigation has just issued a warning to companies within the United States. The FBI’s warning was based on the first cyber attached launched against a company from within the U.S. That attack happened at the Sony Pictures Entertainment company based in the U.S. The FBI warns that the attack might be the first of many in a “watershed event.”
The Sony Attack
The Sony attack was widespread, and crippled the company’s computer systems causing a good deal of panic and resulting in a large amount of stolen information. Sony hasn’t released too many details about the attack (part of the FBI’s tactics to keep as much information as possible under wraps, so that the bureau might find the hackers with ease), but the company has told press that it is on its way to rebuilding and repairing from the attacks.
Companies face cyber attacks regularly, but this is the first one that has been conducted on U.S. soil. Typically, attacks come from other countries, but it has been largely confirmed that this particular one came directly from a location within the United States. The Sony attack resulted in leaked movies that have not yet been officially released. Those movies were stolen and spread throughout the Internet. Additionally, the Sony staff was left working with pen, paper, and other devices not connected to Sony’s computer system. While things are largely getting back to normal at Sony, the FBI has warned other U.S. companies that they are not immune to similar attacks.
The FBI has officially stated that the attackers are “unknown,” though there are some rumors flying this morning that the attacks happened on behalf of North Korea - though this is largely speculative at this point. What isn’t entirely speculative, though, is that additional attacks are on the horizon, and companies that do not have solid security will likely be targeted. In Sony’s case, the company did not take the extreme security measures that, perhaps, it should have.
A cyber attack of this size can easily disrupt a company like Sony for weeks on end, though Sony has been working rather quickly to put the pieces back together. The company is also reportedly working with the FBI to find the attackers. Currently, no suspects have been named, as is usually the case with such attacks. Once the attackers have been discovered, there’s a large possibility that the names will be released publicly.
What You Can Do
If you currently run a business, it’s a good idea to make sure that your networks are secure. Files that are especially sensitive should only be shared with key people, passwords and encryption tools should be used regularly, and networks must be observed by IT experts regularly.
Attacks like the one that Sony just dealt with have never come from within the U.S. before, and this just goes to prove that hackers are starting to move to U.S. soil. The FBI has also issued information on what business owners can do in the event of an attack. The bureau has also asked that similar attacks be reported to the FBI as soon as possible.