Cluster

Cyber 'superweapon' virus uncovered

PG
Tuesday, 29-May-2012

 

MOSCOW: A Russian computer firm has discovered a new computer virus with unprecedented destructive potential which could be used as a "cyberweapon" by the West and Israel against foes such as Iran.

Kaspersky Lab, one of the world's biggest producers of anti-virus software, said its experts discovered the virus -- known as Flame -- during an investigation prompted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The firm did not say who the virus was aimed against but the announcement comes just a month after Iran said it had halted the spread of a data-deleting virus targeting computer servers in its oil sector.

Kaspersky said the virus was several times larger than the Stuxnet worm that was discovered in 2010 and targeted the Iranian nuclear programme, reportedly at the behest of Western or Israeli security agencies.

It said the main task of Flame is cyber espionage, meaning it steals information from infected machines including documents, screenshots and even audio recordings. It then sends the data to servers all over the world.

Flame is "actively being used as a cyberweapon attacking entities in several countries," Kaspersky said in a statement late on Monday.

"The complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious programme exceed

those of all other cyber menaces known to date," it added.

The origin of the Stuxnet worm has never been made clear but suspicion has fallen on the United States and Israel which both accuse Iran of seeking to build an atomic weapon.

Without giving any indication that Israeli spy agency Mossad could be involved in Flame, Israel's Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon said such cyberweapons were an important part of the arsenal of Iran's enemies. (AFP)

 


 



    

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