U.S., Israel developed Flame computer virus: newspaper (REUTERS) Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Philip Barbara WASHINGTON 06/19/12 6:32pm EDT)
Reuters News Service
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(Reuters) - The United States and Israel jointly developed the Flame
computer virus that collected intelligence to help slow Iran´s
nuclear program, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing
anonymous Western officials.
The so-called Flame malware aimed to map Iran´s computer networks and
monitor computers of Iranian officials, the newspaper said. It was
designed to provide intelligence to help in a cyber campaign against
Iran´s nuclear program, involving the National Security Agency, the
CIA and Israel´s military, the Post said.
The cyber campaign against Iran´s nuclear program has included the
use of another computer virus called Stuxnet that caused malfunctions
in Iran´s nuclear enrichment equipment, the newspaper said.
Current and former U.S. and Western national security officials
confirmed to Reuters that the United States played a role in creating
the Flame virus.
Since Flame was an intelligence "collection" virus rather than a
cyberwarfare program to sabotage computer systems, it required less-
stringent U.S. legal and policy review than any U.S. involvement in
offensive cyberwarfare efforts, experts told Reuters.
The CIA, NSA, Pentagon, and Office of the Director of National
Intelligence declined to comment.
Flame is the most complex computer spying program ever discovered.
Two leading computer security firms - Kaspersky Lab and Symantec
Corp - have linked some of the software code in the Flame virus to
the Stuxnet computer virus, which was widely believed to have been
used by the United States and Israel to attack Iran´s nuclear
program. (© Thomson Reuters 2012. 06/19/12)
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