If you’ve been following the news lately, you have probably heard about a new piece of malicious software, called the Flame virus. Discovered earlier this month by the Russian computer security company, Kaspersky Labs, Flame is one of the largest, most sophisticated malware ever encountered.
The Flame virus was initially detected in computers of the National Iranian Oil Company, as well as several Iranian ministries, however there have been reported cases of infected computers in Israel and Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. Since it is spreading, it is possible that infections could reach the United States. Fortunately, Kaspersky Labs has released a patch for their antivirus software, which we at Network Depot have already shared with all of our clients, that protects against the Flame virus.
I sat down with Chris Conner, backup and anti-virus guru at Network Depot, to get the details on the Flame virus.
So, what exactly does the Flame virus do?
The Flame virus was designed to steal different databases. It can also be used for audio spying. By detecting and recognizing a microphone on the infected computer, Flame is able to turn the microphone on and record every conversation that takes place in the room where the computer is located. Recorded data is then immediately transferred to the server from which the virus originated.
Where did the Flame virus come from?
Nobody is sure where exactly the Flame virus originated. However, experts speculate that the Flame virus represents a modern-day cyber weapon developed by nation states. This is owing to the fact that creating malware as sophistocated as the Flame virus would require a large number of programmers and server management staff that is beyond the scope of any known groups of cybercriminals.