Antivirus software

Those Israelis are cunning

The Telegraph

It seems the Israelis have done even better than they did with their Stuxnet virus:

The world’s most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record conversations, has been exposed.

Middle Eastern states were targeted and Iran ordered an emergency review of official computer installations after the discovery of a new virus, known as Flame.

Experts said the massive malicious software was 20 times more powerful than other known cyber warfare programmes including the Stuxnet virus and could only have been created by a state.

It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years.

Iran has alleged that the West and Israel are orchestrating a secret war of sabotage using cyber warfare and targeted assassinations of its scientists as part of the dispute over its nuclear programme.

Stuxnet attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.

Flame can gather data files, remotely change settings on computers, turn on computer microphones to record conversations, take screen shots and copy instant messaging chats.

The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm that specialises in targeting malicious computer code.

It made the 20 gigabyte virus available to other researchers yesterday claiming it did not fully understand its scope and said its code was 100 times the size of the most malicious software.

Kaspersky Labs said the programme appeared to have been released five years ago and had infected machines in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

“If Flame went on undiscovered for five years, the only logical conclusion is that there are other operations ongoing that we don’t know about,” Roel Schouwenberg, a Kaspersky security senior researcher, said.