Complex cyberwar tool 'Flame' found ALL OVER Middle East
20 times larger than Stuxnet, two years old... and still active
A new super-cyberweapon targeting countries like Iran and Israel that has been knocking around in computers for two years has been discovered by researchers.
"Flame", a highly sophisticated piece of malware, was unearthed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Kaspersky Lab, which said it was more complex and functional than any cyber threat it had seen to date.
Because Flame is so super-complicated and because of the geography of the attack, Kaspersky Lab's global research and analysis team head Alexander Gostev said he was in "no doubt" that it was a state-sponsored worm.
Flame is a cyber espionage program that steals data such as computer display contents, information about targeted systems, stored files, contact info and even audio conservations. Kaspersky Lab said that the worm's features were different from Duqu and Stuxnet, but it matched up with them when comparing where it attacked, the software vulnerabilities it uses and the fact that only certain computers were targeted.
"Stuxnet and Duqu belonged to a single chain of attacks, which raised cyberwar-related concerns worldwide," Eugene Kaspersky said in a canned statement. "The Flame malware looks to be another phase in this war, and it’s important to understand that such cyber weapons can easily be used against any country. Unlike with conventional warfare, the more developed countries are actually the most vulnerable in this case."
Iran's National Computer Emergency Response Team posted a warning about the malware on its site today and said a fix would be coming soon.
"At the time of writing, none of the 43 tested anti viruses could detect any of the malicious components. Nevertheless, a detector was created by Maher centre and delivered to selected organisations and companies in first days of May," the site said.
"And now a removal tool is ready to be delivered.
"The research on samples implies that the recent incidents of mass data loss in Iran could be the outcome of some installed module of this threat," it added.
Kaspersky Lab said it was currently doing deeper analysis of Flame, which has been in the wild since March 2010, and it would tell everyone what it learned on its blog posts.
"For now what is known is that it consists of multiple modules and is made up of several megabytes of executable code in total - making it around 20 times larger than Stuxnet, meaning that analysing this cyber weapon requires a large team of top-tier security experts and reverse engineers with vast experience in the cyber defence field," the security firm said.
Gostev said that the malware was still stealing data.
"One of the most alarming facts is that the Flame cyber attack campaign is currently in its active phase, and its operator is consistently surveilling infected systems, collecting information and targeting new systems to accomplish its unknown goals," he said. ®
Re: Not Chinese
"Actually, if you were state X and you were clever, it might be worthwhile to target yourself as well."
Nailed it. Clearly the Israelis are learning from previous attempts.
Re: countries like Iran and Israel???
"one is a rogue state intent on genocide though nuclear war, and the other is iran."
Israel has probably had nuclear weapons for about 25 years (maybe longer) but I missed reports that they had actually used any of them.
Re: Which Os(s) are affected.....
you sir should never be allowed to run a system that must be highly secure.
A tailored attack can attack one of the many thousands (hundreds of I suppose depending on how many hundreds upon hundreds of updates you are behind?) vulnerabilities in both open and closed systems.
In order to be secure you have to have rigerous methods of system analysis ( a bare level of daily log checking for every world and internal facing system ), file change monitoring that automatically alerts on file change ( like ossec or trip wire ), those logs should go somewhere that is one way and preferably worm based to a degree. Everything should be upto date and well patched where possible, everything should follow a principle of minimum rights. Where possible everything should be isolated into its own instances (chroot and virtualisation.) That is of course the minimum for a secure system (secure being anything that deals with customer data) highly secure should go beyond that ( intrusion detection on the perimeter, change control, stict auditing)
I had a sales person for our shit managed service go "oh you don't have to worry about linux security" which for me was the final nail in their security coffin as it shows a complete lack of understanding for threats.
Any one in the enterprise that goes "linux is more secure" is pretty stupid. Sure in user space it's true, but in the enterprise it's just BS.