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US, Israel Behind Flame Malware 382

The Washington Post is reporting that the sophisticated 'Flame' malware was created by the United States and Israel in order to collect intelligence on Iranian computer networks. The intel was to be used in a cyber-sabotage campaign intended to slow Iran's development of nuclear weapons. This follows confirmation a few weeks ago that the U.S. and Israel were behind Stuxnet, which caused problems at Iran's nuclear facilities. From the article: "The emerging details about Flame provide new clues to what is thought to be the first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States. 'This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,' said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. 'Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.' ... The scale of the espionage and sabotage effort 'is proportionate to the problem that's trying to be resolved,' the former intelligence official said, referring to the Iranian nuclear program. Although Stuxnet and Flame infections can be countered, 'it doesn't mean that other tools aren't in play or performing effectively,' he said."
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US, Israel Behind Flame Malware

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  • by cosm ( 1072588 ) < minus bsd> on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @10:09PM (#40379947)
    My conjecture is that we will be at war with Iran in time for the election, call it a November surprise. Bunch of FUD stories from the Ministry of Information's various major news network puppets, and then we'll all be chest-pumping while the populace sings let's roll in the tanks.
  • Evidence (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @10:10PM (#40379969) Journal
    In case anyone was wondering what the evidence was, here is the relevant quote:

    [Flame] was directed by Israel in a unilateral operation that apparently caught its American partners off guard, according to several U.S. and Western officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

    Generally these kind of leaks, especially when they happen as much as they have lately, happen at the direction of officials. It's not an accident. The question is why are all these anonymous leaks being passed to the press? Is it because they want Iran to think we have greater capability than we actually do? Some people have speculated that this is an attempt to give Obama an election boost, but one leak is enough to do that, he doesn't need to keep leaking....So what is the purpose?

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @11:04PM (#40380353) Homepage

    Worried about a nuclear Iran? Yes. Worried about a nuclear US, China, Russia, India, UK, France, Pakistan, North Korea, Israel? Yes.

    See this is the logical breakdown that some people have. MAD. Some government actually do care, no matter how destructive the soviets were to their own people. They actually did have some understanding of their actions to the world as a whole. Knowing there would be nothing left of the world if they nuked the US. The US knew the same. India and Pakistan are at a similar point. Though as Pakistan slips further towards the militant islamist side it become less so. North Korea wants a bomb to threaten anyone, and will use it against the south, simply to use it. Israel has it to protect itself from arab states that have repeatedly tried to annihilate it(another form of MAD).

    Trust is a tricky thing. What you should be asking is, what do they care about if they have it and what do they care about if they use it, and expect to gain from it.

  • by Maudib ( 223520 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @11:32PM (#40380541)

    Ugh, overrated nonsense.

    There are stories every other day about Chinese and Russian efforts to compromise U.S. military networks, agencies and schools. When was the last time the U.S. declared war over foreign attempts at espionage?

  • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @11:38PM (#40380577)
    I think that Iran should declare war on the US over it. That'd be good for some lolz. You know, like every youtube video where a little fluffy kitteh picks a fight with a doberman :-P But honestly, what are they going to do? Threaten us and Israel, build weapons, launch test missiles? Seriously, I can't think of anything they can or would do about it and if they formally attacked us, that'd be about it for them. This is going to embarrass the hell out of them when they basically are forced to do nothing about it.
  • by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Tuesday June 19, 2012 @11:59PM (#40380739)

    Sabotage: yes. Cyber terrorism? No. Warfare, yes, but not terrorism.

    To be fair, terrorism is rather broadly any act that incites fear, specifically for political purposes. I don't know about you, but Stuxnet and Flame scare the hell out of me.

    And I don't even begin to represent their targets.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.