Comment: Who authored computer virus that ‘dwarfs Stuxnet’?

June 6, 2012 by Joseph Fitsanakis

clip_image001By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
When the Stuxnet computer virus was detected, in 2010, it was recognized as the most sophisticated malware ever created. It had been specifically designed to sabotage Siemens industrial software systems, which were used in Iran’s nuclear energy program. Not surprisingly, most Stuxnet-infected computers were in Iran. Now a new, massive and extremely sophisticated piece of malware has been detected in computers belonging to the Iranian National Oil Company and Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum. It is called Flame and, according to antivirus company Kaspersky Lab, which first spotted the virus last week, it is “one of the most complex threats ever discovered”. Simply consider that Stuxnet, which caused unprecedented waves of panic among Iranian cybersecurity experts, was 500 kilobytes in size. Flame is over 20 megabytes in size, consisting of 650,000 lines of code; it is so complex that it is expected to take programming analysts around a decade to fully comprehend. The two are different, of course. Stuxnet was an infrastructure-sabotaging malware, which destroyed hundreds —maybe even thousands—of Iranian nuclear centrifuges. Flame, on the other hand, appears to be an espionage tool: it aims to surreptitiously collect information from infected systems. What connects them is their intended target: Iran. We now have Stuxnet, the most complex sabotaging malware ever discovered, which must have taken dozens of programmers several months to create, and Flame, the world’s most powerful cyberespionage tool ever detected by computer security experts. And both have been primarily directed at Iranian government computers.

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Israeli ex-spy boss: Iran strike ‘stupid’


An interior view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant is shown on October 26, 2010 as Iran began to load fuel into the core of its first atomic power plant some 745 miles south of Tehran. The Russian-built power plant is supervised by the United Nation’s nuclear agency. UPI/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgarpour

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TEL AVIV, Israel, May 12 (UPI) — Meir Dagan, Israel’s recently retired intelligence chief who spent eight years trying to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, has declared a military strike against that contentious project “is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

Dagan’s comments Sunday during a symposium on regional strategy at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the first time he has publicly opposed military action against Iran, challenged hard-line Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

That has made it more difficult for Netanyahu to press the case for an attack with his own Cabinet, with Washington or with the Israeli public. Continue reading

Sanctions hold up Iran nuclear drive: UN report

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AFP/File – Iranian technicians are seen at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facilities (UCF), 420 kms south of Tehran …

– Thu May 12, 1:57 pm ET

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – International sanctions are slowing Iran’s nuclear program but the Islamic Republic has repeatedly sought to breach an arms embargo by shipping weapons to Syria, UN investigators said in a report.

Six of the nine violations of a UN ban on conventional arms shipments by Iran involve Syria, said the report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

The UN Security Council has passed four rounds of sanctions against Iran over its uranium enrichment, which western nations say is a front for a nuclear arms drive. A panel of experts which monitors the sanctions said Iran is circumventing the action but that nuclear work has been hit.

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