Vicious computer virus rips through Middle East

May 28, 2012 10:24:37 PM PDT
A vicious computer virus is ripping through the Middle East. Computer security experts say it could be the most sophisticated cyber-weapon in history.

Most of the computer attacks have been in Iran, but the virus called "flame" has also hit Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. Researchers in Russia discovered the malware while working on a project for the United Nations.

One expert says the virus is like "an industrial vacuum cleaner for sensitive information."

It steals information from every computer it touches. Researchers at Kaspersky Labs say the virus is: "A complex set of operations, including sniffing the network traffic, taking screenshots, recording audio conversations, intercepting the keyboard, and essentially acting as a massive global data collection tool."

The virus is 20-times more complicated than Stuxnet -- that's the malware believed to be behind the cyber-attacks on Iran's nuclear program in 2009 and 2010.

Experts say the virus is likely state-sponsored.


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