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US, Israel Jointly Developed Flame Virus, Says WaPo

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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25 comments

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8:44PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Freedom of speech and all the other freedoms you pretend to have are meant to be an example to the world. Picking out which countries along with another country who shows little freedoms to any one not what I would call a good plan.

5:38AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Thanks

11:03PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

CORRECTION

Max M - You forgot that Sadam Hussein was a ruthless dictator who started an 8 year war with Iran, gassed the Kurds, eliminated anyone against him, and sent scuds indiscriminately against the civilian population in Israel. The most terrible aspect of it all is that you and the likes of you did not even DEMONSTRATE once against him and now against Assad. You are all hypocrates suffering from Post-Colonial Sydrome - if you are anti-West or 3rd world you can do nothing wrong and if you are the West or pro-West you are the devil no matter what you do. Thank God for nations like the USA and Israel.

10:59PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Max M - You forgot that Sadam Hussein was a ruthless dictator who started an 8 year war with Iran, gassed the Kurds, eliminated anyone against, and sent scud indiscriminately against the civilian population in israel. The most terrible aspect of it all is that you and the likes of you did not even DEMONSTRATE once against him and now against Assad. You are all hypocrates suffering from Post-Colonial Sydrome - if you are anti-West or 3rd world you do care nothing wrong and if you are the West or pro-West you are the devil no matter what you do. Thank God for nations like the USA and Israel.

5:41PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

I do not believe that Iran at this point is a nuclear threat. However I would infinitely prefer cyber warfare to people warfare and if Israel and the US can prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb through cyber warfare, great!
My concern however is that technology that starts as "peaceful deterrance" might end up actually leading to people warfare. After WWI even Lawrence of Arabia joined the British Royal Air Force thinking that air forces by major powers would prevent ground warfare because other countries would be afraid that their troops would be bombed. Bomber aircraft would thus enforce peace and save lives. No one dreamed that there would be massive civilian bombing during WWII or that military aircraft would drop an atomic bomb.
Nuclear weapons were also seen as deterrance and in some cases still are but it is only a matter of time before they get into the wrong hands or that a country might use them as the memory of Hiroshima fades. Cyber warfare eventually might just as easily be able to detonate a bomb as well as destroy it or prevent it from being made

4:23PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Ernest R - as long as he doesn't believe it is an onion... ;-)

2:40PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

It's called intelligence and counter-intelligence. It's just the technology that's changed.

1:56PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ Billie C. “the white house leeks continue.” Even the president needs to take a leek from time to time.



1:52PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ Max M.. “Once we pull out of Iraq, it will return to sectarian violence” Return ? Iraq has had sectarian violence since the US invasion began. Prior to that there were no bombings of markets or mosques, women could dress as western women, children could safely play in the street and Muslims and Christians were friends. Mission accomplished ?



1:44PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ David E Naïve people are the ones you are trying to convince that Iran called for “total destruction of another member of the UN, Israel “. We know that because Israel keeps telling us that story, and Israel wouldn’t lie, right ?.I agree with you that “The bomb must not be in the hands of those who openly threaten other nations”.Let’s see now, which nation has made repeated threats to bomb another nation [ apart from Hillary’s campaign promise]? Oh yeah, Israel. Let’s not bring up Lebanon and Gaza, Israel’s version of the Warsaw Ghetto.





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