Expert Likens Flame Virus to ´Targeted Killing´ (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/29/12)
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CEO Greg Hughes of Israel´s Symantec said Tuesday that the Flame
virus found in Iran is the cyber-warfare equivalent of a “targeted
"Once the file has spread and computer penetration is accomplished by
exploiting loopholes in operating systems, then it can perform tasks
such as ´photographing´ the computer screen, or record operations
made by the computer," Hughes explained.
Flame can reportedly also record keystrokes and copy files, such as
audio files, on a computer’s hard drive.
"You have to look at this with a perspective of time," he
added. "They recently discovered a number of attacks, but this began
two years ago. And, this is a change from the old way, when attacks
were widespread and affected computers around the word in bids to
cause damage and show off capabilities."
"This is a specifically targeted and highly precise attack. This
attack is like a precision targeted killing rather than mass
slaughter," he added, noting that the file – or a collection of
files – would have to be directly inserted into vulnerable computers.
So far, Flame is known to have struck at least 600 specific computer
systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the
The Russian information security company ´Kaspersky´ described Flame
as "one of the most complex and dangerous threats ever discovered."
Kaspersky defined Flame as "data-stealing virus" and "cyber-espionage
worm" designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily
in Middle Eastern countries. It also hinted markers in the code imply
it may have been created by the makers of the Stuxnet worm.
Asked about the attack on Army Radio on Monday, Minister of Strategic
Affairs Moshe Ya´alon said, "Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a
meaningful threat – it is reasonable he would take various measures,
including this one."
"Israel has been blessed with being a state rich in top level high-
tech. These tools that we take pride in open up various possibilities
for us," he added, without specifically saying Israel originated
Officials in Tehran have directly blamed Israel for Flame, as they
did with the Stuxnet virus.
"The Vice Prime Minister of the Zionist regime admitted the role of
the regime in creating the virus Flame for cyber espionage in the
Middle East, and especially in Iran," the semi-official Fars News
Agency reported. "Moshe Yaalon´s statements today are an additional
confirmation of Israel´s role in developing the malicious program."
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparsat also pointed a
finger at Israel, although less directly.
"Illegitimate regimes are producing viruses and trying to use
cyberspace and this is not really effective," he told reporters at a
weekly press briefing. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/29/12)
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