‘Flame’: Lethal Cyberweapon or Media Hype?

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

PC World (US) 

A new malware attack was discovered targeting Iran. Dubbed ‘Flame’, ‘Flamer’, or ‘sKyWIper’ depending on the source, the cyber attack has been called “much bigger than Stuxnet,” “most sophisticated cyber weapon yet unleashed,” and “most lethal cyberweapon to date.” However, at least one security vendor takes issue with the ‘Flame’ hype and calls the threat “overblown”.

Malware researchers claim that the code behind “Flame” bears many resemblances to Stuxnet and Duqu. The sophistication of the attack and the techniques used within the threat are similar, and so is the primary target: Iran.

Is ‘Flame’ the most insidious threat ever, or just a clever attack that caught the security industry off-guard?While no group or nation has yet taken responsibility officially for Stuxnet or Duqu, the complexity of the attacks combined with the focus on Iran have fueled speculation that the malware is possibly astate-sponsored attackengineered by the United States, or Israel. A Symantec blog post suggests similar origins for ‘Flame’: “As with the previous two threats, this code was not likely to have been written by a single individual but by an organized, well-funded group of people working to a clear set of directives.”

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