Flame is a highly sophisticated, malicious program that is actively being used as a cyber weapon to target entities in several countries.
Discovered by Kaspersky Lab’s experts — during an investigation that was prompted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) — Flame is designed to carry out cyber espionage. It can steal valuable information — including but not limited to computer display contents, information about targeted systems, stored files, contact data and even audio conversations. Its complexity and functionality exceed those of all other known cyber weapons.
Flame is the largest cyber weapon discovered to date — and it was designed in a way that made it nearly impossible to track down. Whereas conventional malware is built to be small and hidden, Flame’s sheer size allowed it to remain undiscovered. Flame infects computers by using sophisticated techniques that were previously used by only one cyber weapon: Stuxnet. Although it appears that Flame has been operational since March 2010, no security software had discovered it... until Kaspersky Lab.
“Flame can easily be described as one of the most complex threats ever discovered. It’s big and incredibly sophisticated. It pretty much redefines the notion of cyber war and cyber espionage.”
Alexander Gostev Kaspersky Lab Expert
Flame’s victims range from individuals to specific state-related organizations or educational institutions. Flame is a sophisticated, malicious program that is capable of stealing large volumes of data… and many different types of information.
Kaspersky Lab’s experts are continuing to analyse Flame. Over the coming days and weeks, Kaspersky Lab will be updating a blog about its findings.
If you’re running a suitable Kaspersky Lab security product, you may already be protected. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2012 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 both offer advanced protection against a vast range of malware — and are both capable of detecting and deleting all known modifications of the main module and extra components of Flame.