Forget about Stuxnet, the hand crafted computer virus that targeted Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant, a bigger, better virus called “Flame” has been found —unprecedented in its size and sophistication.Raphael Satter and Amy Tiebel at The AP report that Flame turns every computer into a listening device that is even able to draw data from nearby cell phones.
Flame is the third big cyber weapon discovered in the past two years and speculation immediately focused on Israeli involvement, a suspicion that country has done little to dispel.
Talking to Army Radio, Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon said “Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a significant threat is likely to take various steps, including these, to hobble it. Israel is blessed with high technology, and we boast tools that open all sorts of opportunities for us.”
From The Associated Press:
Alan Woodward, a professor of computing at the University of Surrey in southern England, said that Flame was a different order of threat than run-of-the-mill cyberfraud programs.
“Most malware writers like to have tiny bits of code that kind of hide away in the dross that’s on a computer,” Woodward said. “Flame is 20 megabytes large. That’s nearly 60 times the average size of malware samples collected by Internet security company Sophos in 2010, around the same time that Kaspersky believes Flame first started spreading.
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