Russian Internet security firm Kaspersky Labs says the complexity and targets of the virus – which is infecting computers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East – imply its creator is a government.
A computer virus designed to scoop up secret information like an "industrial vacuum cleaner" is infecting computers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East, according to the Russian Internet security firm Kaspersky Labs.
The new supervirus, which Kaspersky discovered and named "Flame," is one of the most complex items of malicious software ever conceived – many times more sophisticated than the notorious Stuxnet worm – and could well be a purposeful "cyberweapon" directed against Iran, the firm said in a statement late yesterday.
Flame is "actively being used as a cyberweapon attacking entities in several countries," Kaspersky said in a statement. It is "one of the most advanced and complete attack-toolkits ever discovered.… The complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious program exceed those of all other cyber menaces known to date."
According to Kaspersky, the majority of infected computers are in Iran, followed by the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. It said the virus has probably been active for at least two years, but has not been detected until now due to its "extreme complexity."