Virus Report: Flame is the World’s Largest Cyber-Attack Ever Discovered

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bill-swift - June 5, 2012

Macs all over the world were crippled when the Flashback Trojan roared it's ugly head. While this outbreak has since subsided, a new wave of more complex cyber attacks have taken its place, targeting Windows machines this time around.

Dubbed as "Flame," security researchers and analysts are calling it the world's "largest" and "most complex" threat ever discovered.

Security firm Kaspersky described Flame as a "data vacuuming" malware that has the components of a worm, a backdoor, and a Trojan, redefining "the notion of cyberwar and cyberespionage" with its very existence. Roel Schouwenberg, the Kaspersky security expert who discovered the malware, estimated that no more than 5,000 personal computers around the world have been infected, including a handful in North America.

Flame resembles two previous threats that crippled a number of computers earlier on, called Stuxnet and Duqu. Researchers are stumped as to how the malware enters networks, although they have isolated the windows vulnerability that it exploits once it's in: MS10-033.

Flame, itself, is massive in size, coming in at 20MB. Once infected, it relays back information to the cybercriminals by sniffing traffic, keylog input data, record conversations, taking screenshots, and so on and so forth.

The malware has targeted computers running on Windows in Iran, Israel, Sudan, Syria, and Egypt. Flame might soon cross shores and make its way over to our side of the world, so protect your computer by installing an anti-virus program, installing updates, and running scans regularly.

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