Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have uncovered a massive cyber threat, dubbed Flame, that is targeting “sensitive” information across the Middle East.
The malware, Kaspersky said, “might be the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed.”
Once deployed, Flame can sniff network traffic, take screenshots, record audio conversations, intercept a keyboard, and more, Kaspersky said. All of this data is then available via Flame’s command-and-control servers.
Iran has thus far been hardest hit by Flame, with at least 189 infections. Israel/Palestine came in second with 98, followed by Sudan (32), Syria (30), Lebanon (18), Saudi Arabia (10), and Egypt (5).
Kaspersky has not identified any specific organization that Flame is targeting. “From the initial analysis, it looks like the creators of Flame are simply looking for any kind of intelligence – emails, documents, messages, discussions inside sensitive locations, pretty much everything,” Kaspersky’s Alexander Gostev wrote in a blog post. “We have not seen any specific signs indicating a particular target such as the energy industry – making us believe it’s a complete attack toolkit designed for general cyber-espionage purposes.” Read More
How New Internet Spying Laws Will Actually ENABLE Stalkers, Spammers, Phishers And, Yes, Pedophiles & Terrorists
There’s proposed legislation in the US (sponsored by Lamar Smith) and in Canada (sponsored by Vic Toews) and in the UK that uses various flimsy justifications for the mass collection of data on telecommunications users. The data covered by these proposals varies, but includes things like URLs, phone calls, text/instant/email messages, and other forms of communication. Some of this proposed legislation deals with communication metadata, e.g., sender, recipient, time, etc.; some of it deals with communication content, e.g., the full text of messages.
I’m going to gloss over the specifics for two reasons: first, they’ve been covered exhaustively elsewhere, and second, I think it’s an absolute certainty that whatever these proposals contain, the next ones will contain more.
The putative reasons given for these proposals are the usual Four Horseman of the Infocalypse: terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers, and money launderers. One would think, given the hysteria being whipped up by the proponents of these bills, that one could hardly walk down the street without being offered raw heroin by a grenade-throwing child pornographer carrying currency from 19 different countries.
Of course, everyone who’s actually studied terrorists, pedophiles, drug dealers and money launderers in the context of telecommunications knows full well that nothing in these bills will actually help deal with them. The very bad people who are seriously into these pursuits are not stupid, and they’re not naive: they use firewalls, encryption, and tunneling. They use strong operating systems and robust application software. They use rigorous procedures guided by a strong sense of self-preservation and appropriate paranoia. They’re not very likely to be caught by any of the measures in these bills because they’ll (a) read the text and (b) evade the enumerated measures. Read More