Thursday, May 31, 2012


On Monday, the Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab identified what it said "might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed," a malware product dubbed "Flame."  The malware is known to steal data of all types, including voice and video communications, from infected computers.  It has been found on hundreds of computers in the Middle East with Iran leading the target list.

Kapersky's researchers believe Flame was developed by the same organization that created the Duqu and Stuxnet malware, which also attacked computers in Iran.  (Stuxnet is reported to have caused roughly one-fifth of the centrifuges then being used in Iran's nuclear enrichment program to malfunction.)  Its massive size (20 megabytes) has made it difficult for computer security experts to decipher all of its capabilities.

Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur said, "This is the third such virus we’ve seen in the past three years.  It’s larger than all of them. The question we should be asking now is:  How many more such campaigns are going on that we don’t know about?"