A new super-weapon has entered the Mideast cyber arena. First detected on Monday by a Moscow-based security company, ‘Worm.Win32.Flame’ – just call it ‘Flame’ – might be “the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed” on Iran’s secret nuclear networks.
Code from the Flame virus. ”Flame can easily be described as one of the most complex threats ever discovered. Big and incredibly sophisticated, it redefines the notion of cyber-war and cyber-espionage,” Alexander Gostev posted on the ‘Securelist’ blog of Kaspersky Labs, the company that uncovered the worm. Gostev is head of the firm’s Global Research and Analysis Team.
The newly-discovered multi-task device sniffs network traffic, takes screenshots when certain applications of interest are run, records audio conversations, intercepts keyboards – the web seems to be the limit.
From an initial analysis performed by Kaspersky Labs, the ‘Flame’ creators gather highly sensitive intelligence on highly sensitive operations of states, principally in the Middle East – e-mails, documents, messages, or discussions inside sensitive locations – and can “target SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) devices, ICS (industrial control systems), critical infrastructure and so on.”