– Iran claims to have beaten ‘Flame’ computer virus (Telegraph, May 30, 2012):
Iran claims it has defeated a powerful computer virus that has boasted unprecedented data-snatching capabilities and could eavesdrop on computer users, a senior official said.
Ali Hakim Javadi, Iran’s deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told the official IRNA news agency that Iranian experts have already produced an antivirus capable of identifying and removing “Flame” from computers.
Iran’s government-run Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center has said the Flame virus was focused on espionage.
Javadi did not say whether any Iranian government bodies or industries were affected by the virus.
“This is no longer about stealing card data or passwords, the stakes are so much higher, and security procedures must follow suit,” said James Todd, an expert in virus attacks at specialist firm, FireEye.
“The next big trend in IT security was always going to be cyber-espionage, given the potentially huge rewards for the taking. This is particularly true if hackers can infiltrate information relating to policy, patents, intellectual property and R&D plans.”
Iran did not release any details of the tool to combat the most complex cyber attack. Its computer emergency response and co-ordination centre said the programme had identified and removed the malicious software.
Since Iran’s nuclear facilities and oil ministry have been the target of past virus attacks, Tehran has accused the US and Israel of trying to sabotage its technological progress.