Security specialists Kaspersky Lab have today highlighted a new threat to PC users’ security. A program known as Worm.Win32.Flame, or Flame for short, is causing havoc for PC users across the globe.
It’s a particularly nasty piece of work, with Kaspersky Lab stating that “the complexity and functionality of the newly discovered malicious program exceeds those of all other cyber menaces known to date.”
According to Kaspersky Labs, the program is “designed to carry out cyber espionage”, and is capable of accessing a computer and stealing display contents, files, data and saved audio conversations.
Though only recently uncovered by Kaspersky Lab whilst investigating the equally-malicious Wiper worm at the request of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Flame is believed to have existed since March 2010.
“It’s important to understand that such cyber weapons can easily be used against any country,” said CEO Eugene Kaspersky, describing it as “another phase” in the PC security war started by the previous Stuxnet and Duqu viruses.
“Unlike with conventional warfare, the more developed countries are actually the most vulnerable in this case.”
Chief security expert at Kaspesky Lab Alexander Gostev added that, “One of the most alarming facts is that the Flame cyber-attack campaign is currently in its active phase, and its operator is consistently surveying infected systems, collecting information and targeting new systems to accomplish its unknown goals.”
In order to quell the threat of Flame, the ITU is activating the ITU-Impact network, which will sees 142 countries and a number of PC security companies working together to alert governments in order prepare to defend against the potential problems that the program could cause.