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FBI warns of virus that wipes hard disk and makes data recovery "impossible"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned a number of companies in the U.S. of a destructive virus that could delete all data from an infected disc.

The malware overrides all data on the hard drives of affected computers, including the master boot, the report said. Such overrides prevent computers from booting up.

According to the FBI: "The overwriting of the data files will make it extremely difficult and costly, if not impossible, to recover the data using standard forensic methods."

Security experts said that the described malware resembles the one Sony was affected with recently, when a hacker group called #GOP, allegedly from North Korea, stole a number of unreleased movies and other confidential data.

Even though the FBI didn't say which companies received their warning, or which companies were victims of the destructive malware, security experts say that they are clearly referring to Sony.

The FBI typically does not identify victims of attacks in those reports.

"This correlates with information that many of us in the security industry have been tracking," said one of the people who reviewed the document. "It looks exactly like information from the Sony attack."

A hacker collective #GOP recently carried out a major attack on Sony Pictures, bringing the company to a complete halt, and claiming to have obtained “top secret” information.

The attack also left Sony employees unable to access their work computers.

After the attack, a number of unreleased movies leaked online, including Fury, starring Brad Pitt.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.