Malware Spotlight: What are wipers?

Introduction

Imagine showing up to work and sitting down at your computer on an average day. You turn the computer on, take a sip of coffee, and find that your system has been wiped of all information. This is possibly the worst thing that could happen to an information security professional; unfortunately there is a malware threat that could cause exactly this nightmare scenario. 

Enter wipers. The name comes from a single piece of malware which appeared back in 2012, but it has come to be associated with a whole class of malware that has similar data destruction goals.

This article will detail the wiper type of malware. We will explore what wipers are and how they work, real-world examples of the malware and what you can do to prevent this nightmare from happening to you.

A little about wipers

A wiper made major news back in 2014 when it led to massive data destruction. Sony Pictures was preparing to release the film “The Interview,” which portrayed both an interview with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as well as his brutal death at the hands of James Franco’s character. In what seemed to be a response to this less than flattering portrayal of the North Korean leader, Sony Pictures was hit with a wiper. The attackers demanded that Sony withdraw “The Interview.” 

Long story short, the film was not withdrawn, and Sony was hit with a massive, costly loss of data. This attack resulted in an Executive Order by President Barack Obama and further sanctions against North Korea. 

Interestingly, some leading cybersecurity experts have shed some doubt on whether the North Korean government was actually responsible, adding further mystique to this infamous attack.

What is a wiper?

The name “wiper” refers to malware that has the purpose (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosec Resources authored by Greg Belding. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/infosecResources/~3/oHB4vkMBFw4/