The world’s most complex computer virus, possessing a range of complex espionage capabilities, including the ability to secretly record conversations, has been exposed, reports the Telegraph.
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. 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. Iran says it has developed tools that can defend against the sophisticated cyber attack.
The virus was discovered by a Russian security firm, Kaspersky Labs, that specialises in targeting malicious computer code. It made the 20 megabyte 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.
Experts said the massive malicious software could only have been created by a nation-state.
It is the third cyber attack weapon targeting systems in the Middle East to be exposed in recent years. Stuxnet attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010, while a related programme, Duqu, named after the Star Wars villain, stole data.
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 program.
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