News / Science & Technology

Flame Virus Looms in Debate Over Regulation of Internet

Flame Virus Looms in Debate Over Regulation of Internet

x
Flame Virus Looms in Debate Over Regulation of Interneti
|| 0:00:00
X
Jerome Socolovsky
May 31, 2012 5:53 PM
The Flame computer virus unleashed in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries is being described as unusually large and powerful. But VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that some experts are questioning the seriousness of the threat.]

Flame Virus Looms in Debate Over Regulation of Internet

The Flame computer virus unleashed in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries is being described as unusually large and powerful. Some experts, though, are questioning the seriousness of the threat.

A Russian-based computer security firm, Kaspersky Lab, found that the Flame virus could record keystrokes, capture screenshots, and record conversations using microphones built into computers.

The greater part of the infected computers were in Iran.
 
"We think that this is one of the rare examples of (a) cyber weapon, and it actually illustrates the fact that there are some cyber warfare operations going on there secretly," said Vitaly Kamluk, Kaspersky's chief malware expert.

Flame is much larger than the 2010 Stuxnet virus, which is believed to have shut down uranium enrichment facilities in Iran. As with that virus, suspicions now point to Israel and the U.S. But no one has claimed responsibility, and the Iranian government said this week it has produced an antivirus program that stops Flame.

James Lewis, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the new virus was a collection of existing cyberespionage tools.

"What Flame was was somebody took a lot of existing techniques, and glued them all together, which are kind of fun. But none of this is what you call cutting edge stuff," said Lewis.

Kaspersky's investigation was commissioned by the International Telecommunications Union. Russia wants the U.N. agency to extend its regulatory authority to the Internet.

And Lewis suspects the Moscow-based company is helping in that effort.

"Kaspersky entered into an agreement with the ITU, first to do some sort of global cybersecurity project, and second the ITU asked Kaspersky to look for malware in the Middle East, and that's how they found Flame. Boy, that's a strange set of coincidences when you line them up," he said.

The ITU's 193 members will meet later this year in Dubai. And viruses like Flame will surely be part of the debate over how the Internet should be governed.

Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid