New Malware ‘Flame’ Considered ‘Most Complex Threat’ Ever Discovered


Kaspersky security researcher, Roel Schowenberg, recently discovered a new ‘data vacuuming’ malware which has targeted a number of Middle Eastern countries and is being described as the “most complex threat” ever discovered.

The newly dubbed “Flame” is an attack toolkit and has infected networks in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other countries. Schouwenberg said that the attacks by the malware were “highly targeted”, directed specifically at businesses and universities. He went on to say, “No more than 5,000 personal computers around the world have been infected.”

While researchers don’t appear to know how Flame enters a network to begin with, they have identified a Windows vulnerability that the malware exploits. Once on a machine though, its abilities are frightening. Flame will sniff network traffic and is able to take screenshots, record conversations on microphones plugged into the PC and key log input data. This ability to steal so much data in so many ways makes the malware unique.

Due to the size and sophistication of Flame, as well as the countries targeted, it is believed that it may be government-backed but if so, it is an attack unlikely to originate from the West.

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