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Confirmed: Flame created by US and Israel


DKT27

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Flame was developed by the NSA, CIA, and Israeli military, a new report says.

The United States and Israel jointly developed the Flame espionage malware to collect information that would be useful in disrupting Iran's nuclear program, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed Western officials with knowledge of the operation.

While important, the report isn't entirely unexpected. Researchers said last week they had conclusive proof that developers of Flame collaborated with developers of Stuxnet, the highly sophisticated computer worm that targeted uranium enrichment operations in Iran's Natanz nuclear facility. A week before that, an in-depth article in the New York Times provided the first confirmation that Stuxnet was created by the US and Israel before they ultimately lost control of it. Flame was part of "Olympic Games," the same classified effort that spawned Stuxnet, Washington Post journalists Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller, and Julie Tate reported Tuesday.

Still, the report is the first to cite unnamed officials saying Flame was jointly devised by personnel in the National Security Agency, the CIA, and Israel's military. As such, it has helped to flesh out details of what is believed to be the first sustained campaign of computer-aided sabotage of a US adversary. And like the confirmation that Stuxnet received the explicit backing from two US presidents, the latest confirmation could harm US interests by touching off a cyber-arms race and making it harder for US officials to argue against their use.

Flame came to light after Iranian engineers detected malware attacks targeting the country's oil refineries. According to Tuesday's report, "The disruption was directed by Israel in a unilateral operation that apparently caught its US partners off guard, according to US and Western officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity." The article goes on to say the episode was what prompted Iran to learn it was being targeted by Flame. "Some US intelligence officials were dismayed that Israel's unilateral incursion led to the discovery of the virus, prompting countermeasures," it stated.

The precise connection between Flame and the malware that targeted Iran's oil industry is still unknown.

Last week, researchers from Kaspersky Lab said a chunk of code found in an early version of Stuxnet contained the same fingerprints found in Flame. The binary from 2009 included an exploit of what was then an undocumented vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows operating system, a revelation that brings the number of zero-day security flaws targeted by Stuxnet to five. Kaspersky Lab expert Roel Schouwenberg speculated that Flame was a precursor to Stuxnet and was used as a "kick-starter" to get the latter project going.

Flame was a highly stealthy rootkit that used the work of world-class cryptographers and mathematicians to spread from machine to machine, even on hardened networks. After infecting a system, it manipulated microphones, cameras, and Bluetooth functions to spy on people in the immediate vicinity. It was also able to cross "air-gapped" networks which aren't connected to the Internet by stashing interception communication on USB drives. While other espionage programs have many of the same capabilities, Flame's sophistication was the ability to bundle all of this together in a 20-megabyte collection of binaries that worked seamlessly.

Stuxnet was a worm programmed to replicate on computers in Iranian enrichment facilities. Once in place, it caused malfunctions by forcing uranium centrifuges to spin too fast or too slow, while simultaneously reporting operations were running normally.

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Why cant america leave asia and middle east so that these countries can live in peace.

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Micah J Berman

Why cant america leave asia and middle east so that these countries can live in peace.

cause they all wanna blow us up apperantly, i dont understand why can't they just take down the iran government like they did with egypt and lybia...
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Why cant america leave asia and middle east so that these countries can live in peace.

cause they all wanna blow us up apparently, I don't understand why can't they just take down the iran government like they did with egypt and lybia...

It's a vicious circle. Why do you think they want to have anything to do with America? It's because America saw fit to demolish both Egypt and Libya. So what can they do? Say goodbye to their entire civilisation, because America is scared that they might get nuclear weapons. It's only a threatening weapon. No one (except America, of course) has ever seen fit to actually use the atomic bomb.

Look at it this way, if I came to your two neighbours' houses, and took them over, burned half of their flats, told them how to live and broke most of their possessions, wouldn't you get scared that it just might happen to you?

The point is, it should never be a country's job to go around waging wars. Does any American still remember what and when was the first middle-eastern operation, and the reason for it? I'll guarantee that it left a very painful scar in the memories of the children growing up in the rubble of a formerly functioning regime. And they'll hate America.

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Why cant america leave asia and middle east so that these countries can live in peace.

All about is OIL.

Tell me, who the richest country in the world ? US ? Wrong......European ? Wrong

most of them come from Middle East :D

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SnakeMasteR

cause they all wanna blow us up apperantly, i dont understand why can't they just take down the iran government like they did with egypt and lybia...

Russia and China will not let that happen, you really should see some kind of alliance between Russia, China and of course Iran (yet not in a military way but economically). I don't think that America will mess with that without having a really solid proof about claiming Iran want a nuclear program just for making nuclear weapons. The Iraq war was wrong so will a Iran war be too. US and Israel can not blow up things how they want just because of some "misterious occurrences". But we all know, if there are no facts, there will be people that simply create them if they are forced to. And that is not enough.

Who can guarantee that Russia will never use a nuclear weapon or Israel or the US or any other country with nuclear weapons? There are a bunch of countries with the ability to build such weapons, but they don't do it. At the end, such actions will not help in any way in the conflict. Dumb actions from dumb governments (in this point). :s

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RadioActive

Talk about hypocrisy, they punish countries like Iran for having nuclear capabilities yet they themselves have an even bigger nuclear program. So why the hell don't they start with themselves? I wish ALL nuclear weapons would be rendered useless somehow.

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TheBestOFN05

Let's steal oil with Flame and see what the hell impact of this virus. Thanks for the country who see Iran just like BITCH OIL COUNTRY

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Micah J Berman

Obama, Bush in a military standpoint they're both so alike it's ridiculous. However in the US economy obama has rammed us into so much debt i think a war would kinda bury us anyways. the USA is weak, we need to stand up for the people and not judge an entire country by the maniac leaders put into control by us to begin with.

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Micah J Berman

oh and on a side note, if obama would let us drill for our own oil we wouldn't need the middle east for another 100 - 150 years

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