Israel hints it created Flame malware
Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon has strongly hinted that Israel was involved in creating the computer virus Flame — a new Stuxnet-like espionage malware — to sabotage Iran’s nuclear plans.
Speaking in an interview with Israel’s Army Radio on Tuesday, Ya’alon expressed support for the creation of the virus and similar tools, saying it “opens up all kinds of possibilities.”
He also noted that it is reasonable for anyone who sees Iran as a threat to take such steps, saying that “whoever sees the Iranian threat as a serious threat would be likely to take different steps, including these, in order to hurt them.”
Ya’alon made the remarks only hours after a Russian lab discovered the new virus.
The computer security firm Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top virus-hunting agencies, said the virus is being used as a cyber weapon to attack entities in several countries.
The Kaspersky Lab has also announced that the worm is the most malicious ever and is designed to gather intelligence, adding that it can turn on PC microphones to record conversations taking place near the computer, take screenshots, log instant messaging chats, gather data files, and remotely change settings on computers.
“The complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious program exceed those of all other cyber menaces known to date,” said the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, adding that a government or a coalition of states must be behind it.
Stuxnet — discovered in 2010 — was also a computer worm. It targeted Siemens industrial software and equipment in several countries.