Reuters reported Tuesday the FBI issued a so-called flash warning to U.S. businesses regarding a highly malicious and destructive cyberattack on an American company. Although the company was unnamed in the flash warning, most assume it to be Sony Pictures Entertainment, which recently experienced an attack like the one described in the warning. The warning describes a broad class of malware called wiper malware.

“The primary purpose of wiper malware is to overwrite sections of a hard drive on an infected computer in an attempt to remove traces of the malware itself, along with large portions of data or in some cases all stored information on the drive,” Jim Stickley, CEO of Stickley on Security, told CU Times. “In all versions the master boot record is also overwritten, causing the operating system to fail.”

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