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Sophisticated Virus Infects Computers in Iran, Mideast
Online WSJ ^ | May 30, 2012 | FARNAZ FASSIHI And PAUL SONNE

Posted on 05/30/2012 3:26:27 AM PDT by lbryce

Thousands of computers in Iran belonging to government agencies and private companies have been infected with a highly sophisticated virus, dubbed Flame, in the latest cyberstrike against the Islamic Republic, said cybersecurity experts and Iran's telecommunications ministry.

The malware was widely detected across the Middle East in Syria, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as well as in other parts of the world, but Iran has the largest number of infected computers, experts said.

At least three times since 2010, Iran has been targeted with sophisticated computer viruses such as Stuxnet, Duqu and Wiper. These viruses have disabled centrifuges for enriching uranium, stolen data from nuclear facilities and erased computers at the oil ministry.

The aim of Flame, said experts at Kaspersky Lab, a Russian information-technology security firm that reported the virus on Monday, was espionage, not physical damage or system interruption.

Flame, which Kaspersky said has been in operation since March 2010, was still active as of Monday morning, Alexander Gostev of Kaspersky Lab said. But after Kaspersky reported the existence of the virus publicly, Flame's operators immediately set about shutting the servers, an effort to protect the stolen data and hide the source of the virus. By Tuesday, Flame had become inactive, he said. "They are trying to hide."

The creation and operation of the Flame virus must have required a large staff, Mr. Gostev said. He estimated that at least 20 specialists would have been required to create and maintain the cyberweapon, similar to estimates of how many people invented and worked on Stuxnet.

Independent security experts said the scope of its complexity and method of operation suggests Flame was sponsored by a nation-state. It wouldn't be economically feasible, they argued, for a private corporation to run such a large-scale international cyberattack.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iran; malware; nuclear
That Stuxnet,Flame have been in the works for at least several years only goes to underscore how vulnerable we all are to the sophisticated weaponry theses devices are capable of unleashing. And while they've done considerable damage to equipment and time spent, eventually Iran with enough determination may very well have their bomb in due time.
1 posted on 05/30/2012 3:26:37 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

They just can’t stay away from those porn sites.


2 posted on 05/30/2012 3:38:44 AM PDT by gdzla
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To: lbryce

Ooopsie


3 posted on 05/30/2012 3:54:33 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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To: gdzla
"they just can't stay away from those port sites"

... or animal husbandry (but we repeat ourselves).

4 posted on 05/30/2012 5:02:53 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter ( A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over...)
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To: gdzla
"they just can't stay away from those port sites"

... or animal husbandry (but we repeat ourselves).

5 posted on 05/30/2012 5:03:17 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter ( A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over...)
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To: lbryce

If it can be done to Iran, it can be done to us. Much to much over-dependence on computers. Food can’t even be sent across the country without computers, now.


6 posted on 05/30/2012 6:57:31 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: gdzla

7 posted on 05/30/2012 7:54:39 AM PDT by lbryce (OMG. What have we done to deserve the likes of the miscreant Zero?)
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To: lbryce

Brad Thor novel? Cool.


8 posted on 05/30/2012 9:46:56 AM PDT by CincyRichieRich (Keep your head up and keep moving forward!)
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To: lbryce; ASA Vet; BIGLOOK

I have a couple of bright/younger relatives, who are aces in math and computer use/programming and electronic game playing.

I can see them launching drones to kill Islamoafacist terrorists in the Middle East during an afternoon break from their sports.

Then, later that night they can create and launch killer virus/computer malware to destroy Iran, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan’s currency and solvency.


9 posted on 05/30/2012 1:10:13 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: lbryce; ASA Vet; BIGLOOK

I have a couple of bright/younger relatives, who are aces in math and computer use/programming and electronic game playing.

I can see them launching drones to kill Islamoafascist terrorists in the Middle East during an afternoon break from their sports.

Then, later that night they can create and launch killer virus/computer malware to destroy Iran, Egypt, Syria and Pakistan’s currency and solvency.


10 posted on 05/30/2012 1:10:53 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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