Skip to comments.Powerful "Flame" cyber weapon found in Middle East
Posted on 05/28/2012 10:43:14 AM PDT by bkopto
Security experts have discovered a new data-stealing virus dubbed Flame they say has lurked inside thousands of computers across the Middle East for as long as five years as part of a sophisticated cyber warfare campaign.
It is the most complex piece of malicious software discovered to date, said Kaspersky Lab security senior researcher Roel Schouwenberg, whose company discovered the virus. The results of the Lab's work were made available on Monday.
Schouwenberg said he did not know who built Flame. If the Lab's analysis is correct, Flame could be the third major cyber weapon uncovered after the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran's nuclear program in 2010, and its data-stealing cousin Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain.
The discovery by one of the world's largest makers of anti-virus software will likely fuel speculation that nations have already secretly deployed other cyber weapons.
"If Flame went on undiscovered for five years, the only logical conclusion is that there are other operations ongoing that we don't know about," Schouwenberg said in an interview.
The Moscow-based company is controlled by Russian malware researcher Eugene Kaspersky, and gained notoriety in cyber weapons research after solving several mysteries surrounding Stuxnet and Duqu.
Researchers at Kaspersky said they were only starting to understand how Flame works because it is so complex. The full significance will not be known until other cyber security firms obtain samples of Flame.
The Lab's research shows the largest number of infected machines are in Iran, followed by the Israel/Palestine region, then Sudan and Syria.
COMPLEX VIRUS The virus contains about 20 times as much code as Stuxnet, which attacked an Iranian uranium enrichment facility, causing centrifuges to fail. It has about 100 times as much code as a typical virus designed to steal financial information, Schouwenberg said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I wonder how they know it’s been there for at least five years?
I have a friend of mine who I now think is smarter and and smarter as time goes by. He has at least one computer that has NEVER been connected to a network. He calls it his baseline. And has saved his butt a couple of times after his other computers were infected by viruses.
What kind of data is it stealing?
Probably just Zero’s people disclosing an Israeli intelligence gathering program.
Ones and zeros...:)
I miss those *adjustable* Bic Lighters. I’d let it sit in direct sun for a few minutes, heat-up and open it up to full-blast, and get a brief 4-5” flame. Good for ‘frying ticks’ in the ashtray. LOL.
Good for frying ticks in the ashtray.
W-O-W! Better than a Bic! Thanks!
Dang! That nasty virus stuff written with Cobol, Fortran, RPG, dBase, or Pascal can really create havoc... /s
Like I don’t have enough to worry about with Obama flying drones over my house....geez.
Glad I never got rid of my tin foil hat, sounds like I’m going to need it.
Given the target locations, I’d have to agree with you. Pres. Obama probably rationalized it as a sign of friendship that would calm our enemies.
♪ ♫ ♬Guys just want to have fun (too) LOL!♪ ♫ ♬
THere go those Israeli AMISH again. Pesky little fellows. I wonder how much information they have stolen over the years, and what other surprises for the jihadists and slavers they have put out there.
Remind me to renew my Symantec protection agreement.
Strange feeling for cold war babies...
This stuff is getting wild.
Does your friend allow usb drives to be plugged into his non network machine??
If so, it may not be as safe as he thinks.
When the US can’t openly fight a war, it has to go the covert route.
We can’t let Iran go nuclear. We don’t want Israel to have a reason to attack Iran. Covert cyber warfare is the way to go. At least that’s what former cyber czar Richard Clarke thinks. And while I am FAR from being a fan of Ricard Clarke, here I agree with him.
I also think China leads in cyber espionage
Your statements are reasonable.
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