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A complex targeted cyber-attack that collected private data from countries such as Israel and Iran has been uncovered, researchers have said.
Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs told the BBC they believed the malware, known as Flame, had been operating since August 2010.
The company said it believed the attack was state-sponsored, but could not be sure of its exact origins.
They described Flame as "one of the most complex threats ever discovered".
The malware is capable of recording audio via a microphone, before compressing it and sending it back to the attacker.
It is also able to take screenshots of on-screen activity, automatically detecting when "interesting" programs - such as email or instant messaging - were open.
Sgt, I would be surprised if malware bytes are not already aware of this virus.
Stuxnet, Duqu and Flame are not normal, everyday malware, of course. All three of them were most likely developed by a Western intelligence agency as part of covert operations that weren’t meant to be discovered.
The creators of the Flame malware have sent a "suicide" command that removes it from some infected computers.
The self-destruct command was a file called "browse32.ocx." When the file is run on an infected computer, it automatically locates every bit of Flame's code, removes it, and writes random data over the original code. That process is designed to prevent anybody from studying Flame using a computer that's been infected but has received the self-destruct code.... One could... call it the 'uninstaller.'"
Sanger explains that [US and Israeli officials] initially sent a bit of computer code called a beacon into Natanz to map the plant's electronic infrastructure.... "And from the data that they gathered there, the U.S. and the Israelis designed a computer worm that would replicate within the system".... (To test the worm, U.S. officials) built a full-scale replica of the Natanz plant on the grounds of the Department of Energy's national laboratories.