MOSCOW — Nearly a year before the Sony hacking scandal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) penned a report about destructive cyber attacks threatening US companies — but failed to share it with Sony, according to the Intercept.
“In the current cyber climate, the FBI speculates it is not a question of if a US company will experience an attempted data-destruction attack, but when and which company will fall victim,” the FBI said in a report obtained by the news website.
The 16-page document, dated Dec. 13, 2013, has not been previously released, though marked as unclassified.
In the report, the FBI urged US companies to prepare for the “increasing possibility they could become victim to a cyber attack,” providing detailed guidelines and noting the “severity of data-destruction malware attacks in 2012”, including attacks on media, banking and energy companies in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In late November, some two weeks before the planned premiere of “The Interview”, a comedy about a fictional CIA assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Sony Pictures Entertainment was subject to a cyber attack which resulted in massive theft of internal company information.
On Dec. 19, the FBI officially placed the blame for the attack on North Korea, stating that the tools used to hack Sony had similarities with attacks carried out by North Korea against South Korean media and banks the previous year.
North Korea lashed out against the film, claiming it hurt “the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK”, but denied responsibility for the hacking.