Computer virus “Flame” heralds a new stage in the cyberwar

The recent discovery of the computer virus “Flame”, which works for several years and whose destructive potential would be unbeatable, confirms the fears of the experts that the world is facing a new stage in the cyber war.

Flame: cyberwar

“We are seeing the emergence of malicious software and attacks much more specific” than before, said David Marcus, director research in security at the firm McAfee Labs.

The specificity of this new virus is that “the attacker knows his victim and designs its malicious programs based on the environment in which they will be implemented”, pointed out.

The Russian company of electronic security Kaspersky Lab announced this week that had identified a virus with unprecedented destructive potential, called “Flame” and used as a ‘cybeweapon’ against several countries. He said that this software has been circulating “for more than two years”. Collect information on their objectives to conceive then viruses that attack to espescíficas networks and the people who use them is certainly a practice “in vogue” and is a style of attack, whose birth was announced with the discovery of the virus Stuxnet, said Marcus.

Detected in July 2010, Stuxnet aimed at computer control systems manufactured by the German industrial giant Siemens, usually used to manage the distribution of water and oil platforms. The virus would have been specifically designed to attack the Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges engines.

“Flame” is a magnitude “20 times greater than that Stuxnet”, according to Kaspersky Lab. It is capable of stealing important information – contained not only in computers but in computer systems which has as goal-both archived documents and user contacts, and even recordings of audio and talks, said the Russian firm.

According to Western media, “Flame” was used to attack the Iranian oil Ministry and the main oil terminal of Iran.

After the virus Stuxnet Duqu, another similar program, “Flame” marks a new stage” in the cyber war, and is important to understand that these ciberarmas could easily be used against any country”, said Yevgeny Kaspersky, director-general of the Russian firm.

“Flame” is particularly active in the Middle East, but tambiéne is widespread in other parts of the world, he told AFP Laurent Heslault, of the firm of computer security Symantec on Tuesday.

The new virus has been found “almost everywhere, more than anything in the Middle East in a bank in Palestine, Iran and Lebanon. But also, to a lesser extent, in Russia, Austria, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates”, explained Heslault.

According to the expert, this is “a very sophisticated threat and modular”.

“Is the Toolbox of the Cyber in all its glory”,  he said. “Really it’s a tool for espionage, capable of recording a lot of things, steal a large quantity of documents”.

Marcus coincided. “We can not deny that this is enormous,” he said. “Someone has made a great effort to confuse the investigators”. “We will be deconstructing this vacuum cleaner (of data) from a long time ago to realize everything what did”.

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