New York: The Israel and Israel worked together to create one of the world’s most sophisticated virus, Flame, aimed at collecting crucial information about Iran’s nuclear systems and spy on Iranian officials, a report said.
The Washington Post reported, citing “Western officials with knowledge of the effort”, on Tuesday that the virus was a massive and sophisticated piece of malware designed to secretly map Iran’s computer networks while monitoring the computers of Iranian officials.
The joint effort, codenamed “Olympic Games” (which also reportedly bred the Stuxnet virus) involved the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and elements of Israel’s military.
Flame was designed to disguise itself as a commonplace Windows software update. Once infected, computers became sophisticated spying devices, sending data from hard drives, computer microphones, webcams and nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones back to the malware’s creator or creators, Mashable reported.
Flame was first detected by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian-based computer security firm, in May. Kaspersky’s analysts said it could have been several years old, and experts said its complexity indicated it could have only been produced by a government or military.
Earlier, the New York Times reported that the US and Israel were behind Stuxnet, which caused physical damage to an Iranian nuclear facility, but Israel denied being involved with Flame earlier this month.
After news of the Flame and Stuxnet viruses broke, some cyber security analysts in the U.S. say they are concerned the cyber-sabotage operations by the U.S. and Israel will invite retaliation by adversaries who will target computer infrastructure and public works systems in both countries.