Saturday, June 2, 2012

Flame and the threat of global cyber war

Flame discovery of computer viruses, which spread undetected for many years in the Middle East, showing the world has entered a new era of global espionage and sabotage.

Analysts said the cyber world, Flame is a malicious software (malware) that can be adapted and disseminated to a variety of vital infrastructure throughout the country in the world.

Iranian officials, the state alleged to be the main target of Flame attack, said the virus had attacked the Iranian oil industry, mid-April. The attack was sparked by Iranian technicians cut off all internet connections in the oil ministry office, platforms, oil drilling platforms and oil terminal on the island of Khark.

Khark Island oil terminal is the gateway for the export of about 80 percent of Iran's total oil production by 2.2 million barrels per day.

"The virus is through the various sectors, one sector of the oil industry. Fortunately we were able to detect and control one of these incidents, "said Gholam Reza Jalali, Iran's military commander antisabotase unit on Wednesday (30/5).

According to Jalali, the oil industry is the only institution which the Government of Iran seriously affected Flame attack, and now all the missing data has been restored.

The virus was first discovered and named "Flame" by Kaspersky Lab. The Russian computer security company that the virus hunt down the last few months at the request of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN agency that regulates information and communication technology in the world.

Marco Obiso, ITU cyber security coordinator, said the new virus is very complex and sophisticated. The size of the virus to 20 megabytes, or about 20-30 times larger than ordinary file virus.

The series of attacks

Flame has the ability to spy on and steal most of the activity of the infected computer data. Start recording keystrokes of keys on the keyboard (keystrokes), record the display screen is opened, to activate the computer's internal microphone (such as a laptop or webcam plugged in) to eavesdrop on computer users.

In addition, the virus is also able to activate the Bluetooth connection to connect to a computer and cell phone all around the computer to steal data, such as personal contact list.

Founder of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, said Flame is still strongly suspected in a series with Stuxnet virus attack and the first Duqu found.

Two years ago, Iran's nuclear enrichment facility Stuxnet virus attack. Virus screwed centrifuge equipment control systems so that spin out of control and finally broke down. As a result of the attack, Iran's nuclear program was stopped a few times.

"Stuxnet and Duqu is a series of attacks, which raises concerns over global cyber war. Flame seems further malware phase of this attack, and easy to understand that cyber weapons as it can be easily used to attack any country, "said Kaspersky.

In contrast with conventional weapons that require dedicated resources to make it, a computer virus could in principle be used and modified by anyone with a computer programming skills.

"What is scary, the state no longer hold a monopoly on these capabilities," said Tom Kellerman, a former commissioner of the board of cyber security for U.S. President Barack Obama.

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