Flamer malware hitting Iran may be government cyber warfare: report

The new Flamer malware targeting computer networks in Iran may be part of a government backed cyber warfare campaign, a new report suggests.

The malware has shown up on PCsrunning Windows XP, Windows 7 and Vistain the Middle East, especially Iran. It can spread via the use ofnetworks and USB sticks to take screenshots and also steal data andpasswords.

A report by the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySyS)in Budapest, Hungary says the bug was likely “developed by a governmentor nation state with significant budget and effort, and may be relatedto cyber warfare activities,” the Naked Security blog reports. Theanalysis does not suggest which country or government could be behindthe malware.

And Alexander Gostev of Russian security software vendor Kaspersky Labssays Flamer may be the “most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed,”the blog adds.

The bug has also been called Flame or Skywiper. The Iranian ComputerEmergency Response Team says it discovered the malware and believes itis “a close relation” to Stuxnet.None of the 43 anti-virus productstested on Flamer were able to detect it, the agency said.

Flame has surfaced in computers as far from the Middle East as Hungary,Russia, Austria and Hong Kong, Symantec said in a statement releasedtoday.

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