State-Sponsored Malware ‘Flame’ Has Smaller, More Devious Cousin
By: Kim Zetter, WIRED
Researchers have uncovered new nation-state espionage malware that
has ties to two previous espionage tools known as Flame and Gauss, and
that appears to be a “high-precision, surgical attack tool” targeting
victims in Lebanon, Iran and elsewhere.
Researchers at Kaspersky Lab, who discovered the malware, are calling the new malware miniFlame,
although the attackers who designed it called it by two other names –
“SPE” and “John.” MiniFlame seems to be used to gain control of and
obtain increased spying capability over select computers originally
infected by the Flame and Gauss spyware.
It is the fourth piece of nation-state malware discovered in the last
year that appears to have been created by the same group behind
Stuxnet, the groundbreaking cyberweapon that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear
program and is believed to have been created by the U.S. and Israeli
governments. The others – all designed for espionage rather than
destruction – are DuQu, Flame, and Gauss.