Kaspersky Lab, a Russian antivirus firm, has discovered Flame, a dangerous, sophisticated new piece of malware that appears to be targeting Iranian government computers—just like Stuxnet, a hostile computer program which sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program.
But unlike Stuxnet, Kaspersky researchers said, Flame is 20 times more complex than Stuxnet.
And while Kaspersky found Flame on computers belonging to the Iranian Oil Ministry, it’s already spread throughout the Middle East and as far as Hungary and Hong Kong.
Alexander Gostev, Kaspersky’s chief security expert, told Wired it may take 10 years to understand everything Flame does.
But here’s what researchers have found Flame does so far:
Activates an infected computers microphone and records Skype conversations—as well as people talking nearby
- Snaps screenshots of instant messages and emails, as well as other activity
- Turns on Bluetooth wireless and scans nearby devices’ address books for names and phone numbers
- Scans the local network for usernames and passwords
- Deletes files to wipe its traces
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