Internet security company Kaspersky Lab announced on Monday that it had uncovered a ‘cyber-espionage worm’ designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily in Middle Eastern countries.
Kaspersky called the malware, named “Flame,” the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed.” It said the bug had infected computers in Iran, the West Bank, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The company also said that Flame contained a specific element that was used in the Stuxnet worm and which had not been seen in any other malware since.
On its blog, Kaspersky called Flame a “sophisticated attack toolkit,” adding that it was much more complex than Duqu, the vehicle used to deliver Stuxnet.
Computer worm that hit Iran oil terminals ‘is most complex yet': Experts warn W32.Flamer may have been developed by a nation state as part of cyberwarfare activities
Iran’s Kharg island terminal processes 90% of the country’s crude oil exports
Another source via guardian:
A cyber-attack that targeted Iran‘s oil ministry and main export terminal was caused by the most sophisticated computer worm yet developed, experts have warned.
The virus appears to have been directed primarily at a small number of organisations and individuals in Iran, the West Bank, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. This will inevitably raise suspicions that Israel or the US were involved in some way.
Analysts who have been decoding the computer worm, which is called W32.Flamer, have been unable to identify the source. But they say only a professional team working for several months could have been behind it.
The CrySys Laboratory, in Hungary, said: “The results of our technical analysis supports the hypothesis that [the worm] was developed by a government agency of a nation state with significant budget and effort, and it may be related to cyberwarfare activities.”It is certainly the most sophisticated malware we [have] encountered. Arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found.”
Orla Cox, a senior analyst at Symantec, the international computer security firm, said: “I would say that this is the most sophisticated threat we have ever seen.”