The now-infamous Flame is not controversial just because of the way it spreads and the way it infects computers, but also because of its origin. The latest reports quote officials as saying that the malware is the creation of US and Israel, its purpose being to ensure that Iran couldn’t develop a nuclear weapon, or at least slow down the country’s efforts.
According to The Washington Post, Flame monitored Iran’s computer systems in an attempt to capture any information that could be valuable for Israel and the United States. Similar to Stuxnet and Duqu, many experts rushed to point the finger at the US when the malware became widely known, but so far there have been only speculations. Now, anonymous US intelligence officials have stated that Flame is the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Israeli military. They revealed that Stuxnet and Duqu are only a small part of a large operation that’s currently in a far more advanced phase. As expected, the involved organizations have declined to comment on the accusations brought against them.
Kaspersky experts have discovered the missing link that connects Flame to Stuxnet, which further strengthens the theory that they may have both been developed by the US and Israel. Flame has been roaming the Internet for a few years now, but only now security experts have begun to understand it. Even ENISA rushed to issue a report in which the organization detailed the risks posed by the malware and ways to protect against it.
Today, we’ve learned that while many companies state that their commercial solutions are unable to deal with threats such as Flame, security expert Bruce Schneier believes that it’s all in the way these pieces of malware spread: slowly and stealthily.