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Beyond Stuxnet: massively complex Flame malware ups ante for cyberwar

A cyber warfare expert holds a notebook computer while posing for a portrait in Charlotte in this December 2011 file photo. A United Nations agency charged with helping member nations secure their national infrastructures plans to issue a sharp warning about the risk of the Flame virus that was recently discovered in Iran and other parts of the Middle East.

John Adkisson/Reuters/Files

Stuxnet move over. Cybersecurity researchers on Monday announced the discovery of Flame, a piece of malicious software that one firm has called “arguably … the most complex malware ever found.”

his early stage of analysis, only a few of Flame’s functions are understood, reports Kaspersky Lab, theBoston-based cybersecurity company that uncovered it. Because of Flame’s size and complexity, it could take years to unpack completely what the program can – and has – done, experts add.

From what is known now, however, Flame can spread via a USB drive, a Bluetooth device, or other machines on a network. In affected machines, it can wait for certain software programs of interest to run, then take screenshots, turn on the internal microphone to record conversations, and intercept e-mail, chats, or other network traffic. It can package these data, encrypt them, and send them off to designated command-and-control computers worldwide.  Read More

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Posted on May 29, 2012, in #technology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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