Iran and additional countries in the Middle East have found traces of a Stuxnet-like computer virus that could have been deployed more than five years ago, Jim Finkle reports for Reuters.
Flame’s mission has yet to be determined and experts suggest there is not evidence suggesting the virus can attack infrastructure, delete data or any additional physical damage, Finkle reports.
Researchers are still in the early stages of their investigations into the newly discovered virus.
Neil Fisher, vice president for global security solutions at Unisys Corp., said to Reuters that the virus is huge and overly complex, which makes it fitting to call a first-generation data gathering tool.
Finkle notes it took researchers months to determine characteristics of Stuxnet.
Flame is capable of gathering data, remotely changing computer settings, taking screen shots, logging instant messaging chats and turning on PC microphones to record conversations, according to the report.
Additionally, the virus contains 20 times as much code as Stuxnet and about 100 times as much code as typical viruses, a researcher told Reuters.
A Hungarian researcher explained to Reuters that Flame could well have been active for at least five to eight years, which would make it older than Stuxnet.