The use of cyber weapons that target Iran – such as the recently discovered Flame virus – are “reasonable”, a top Israeli minister has claimed. The new malware, discovered by a Russian computer company, is thought to have unprecedented destructive potential.
Flame was aimed primarily at Iran, but also affected Israeli and Palestinian territories, Sudan, Syria and Lebanon, Kaspersky Lab said. The company, one of the world’s largest anti-virus software producers, detected the malware a month after Iran said it managed to stop a data-deleting virus targeting its oil sector.
Just hours after the discovery, Israel’s vice prime minister said: “For anyone who sees the Iranian threat as significant, it is reasonable that he would take different steps, including these, in order to hobble it.”
Minister Moshe Yaalon added: “Israel is blessed with being a country which is technologically rich, and these tools open up all sorts of possibilities for us.”
The malware is around 20 times larger than the Stuxnet, the notorious worm that attacked the uranium enrichment cylinders at Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010, Kaspersky said. The specialists added: “The malicious program… is designed to carry out cyber espionage.
“It can steal valuable information, including but not limited to computer display contents, information about targeted systems, stored files, contact data and even audio conversations.”
Ilan Froimovitch, from Kaspersky’s Israeli representative, Power Communication, said: “It’s like nothing else we’ve seen before.
“It’s like they took the best from every malicious code there is and combined it into one code.”