US, Israel Jointly Developed Flame Virus, Says WaPo
The Washington Post reports that the US and Israel worked together to develop the Flame virus to carry out cyberattacks against Iran, according to “Western officials with knowledge of the effort.” Indeed, the Washington Post says that the U.S. National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s military created Flame to “map and monitor” Iran’s computer networks and send back a “steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyberwarfare campaign.”
Moreover, the US and Israel are said to be still in the process of carrying out cyberassault against Iran, according to the Washington Post‘s sources. They also said that Flame was under development at least five years ago, under the second term of the Bush Administration, as part of an effort known as Olympic Games that was extensively described in a recent New York Times article.
The Flame virus has been described as the “first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States.” It was discovered in May by Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs after the United Nations noticed that data was disappearing from computers in Iran. Last week, it was revealed that Flame and another malware program, Stuxnet, share some the same source code; Stuxnet was built by programmers in the US and Israel. Due to the complexity of Flame — the most extensive ever, according to some security experts — Kaspersky Labs has said that a nation state must be behind it.
The White House has offered no comment about Flame.
According to CNET, the office of Israeli vice prime minister Moshe Ya’alon has publicly said it has nothing to do with Flame, after he had said on Army Radio (Israel’s military radio station) that “there are quite a few governments in the West that have rich high-tech [capabilities] that view Iran, and particularly the Iranian nuclear threat, as a meaningful threat — and can possibly be involved with this field.” The BBC says that the Israeli embassy in London has declined to comment.
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