Researchers say they have uncovered “proof” linking the authors of the Flame cyber espionage program to Stuxnet (Source: ABCNews)
The Flame Virus maybe the most powerful and complex cyber-attack ever discovered, described by one expert, as “an industrial vacuum cleaner for sensitive information.” Flame most likely a state sponsored computer virus has probably been active for as long as five years, as part of a sophisticated cyber warfare campaign, the experts said, grabbing images of users’ computer screens, recording their instant messaging chats, remotely turning on their microphones to record their audio conversations and monitoring their keystrokes and network traffic (Source: NYTimes).
Someone has been watching and listening as “Flame” spreads.
Once deployed, Flame (Worm.Win32.Flame) can sniff network traffic, take screenshots, record audio conversations, intercept a keyboard, and more, Kaspersky said. All of this data is then available via Flame’s command-and-control servers. “The practice of concealment through large amounts of code is one of the specific new features in Flame.”
Iran has thus far been hardest hit by Flame, with at least 189 infections. Israel/Palestine came in second with 98, followed by Sudan (32), Syria (30), Lebanon (18), Saudi Arabia (10), and Egypt (5).
‘Flame’ computer virus: most ‘complex’ threat ever
“Currently there are three known classes of players who develop malware and spyware: hacktivists, cybercriminals and nation states. Flame is not designed to steal money from bank accounts. It is also different from rather simple hack tools and malware used by the hacktivists,” “By excluding cybercriminals and hacktivists, we come to conclusion that it most likely belongs to the third group. In addition, the geography of the targets (certain states are in the Middle East) and also the complexity of the threat leaves no doubt about it being a nation state that sponsored the research that went into it.”