Iran's atomic energy organization is warning against "terrorists" and "saboteurs" that are trying to damage Iran's nuclear program. This time it was the power lines leading to its heavily-fortified nuclear enrichment facility – at Fordo – that came under attack, according to Iran.
It's the largest, most extensive cyber espionage tool to date.
Researchers say the computer virus dubbed Flame stole secrets on Iran's nuclear program and it likely went on for years, discovered only after a cyberattack on Iran's oil infrastructure.
Now The Washington Post cites "western officials with knowledge of the effort" as saying Flame was jointly-developed between the United States and Israel.
Intelligence Correspondent Suzanne Kelly reports on U.S. strategy in going to battle in cyberspace.
By Michael Schwartz reporting from Jerusalem
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, at the second annual International Cyber Security Conference in Tel Aviv, said Wednesday that his country was engaged in a new battle frontier.
Barak, who commanded the Israel Defense Forces when the first specialized computer units were introduced into the army, described cyberspace as the fifth dimension of modern warfare after air, ground, sea and space.
"The whole field of computers and telecommunications has developed tremendously over the last few decades. Reality is overcoming every illusion. Even those of us who grew up in the technological fields did not imagine the pace of these developments. FULL POST
By Suzanne Kelly
Last week, groups of congressional staffers gathered in conference rooms in the nation's capital. They were coming to hear from a representative from Symantec about the current threat landscape in cyberspace.
It's an annual event for the security software giant, one in which staffers are briefed on current and emerging threats. They, in turn, brief lawmakers who are looking for ways to "catch up" in the war in cyberspace.
As you might expect in a briefing on cybersecurity, lots of numbers were thrown out: an 81% increase in the number of malware attacks, 5.5 billion attacks blocked worldwide and some 403 million unique pieces of malware (many of them have variations of the same attack that are auto-generated) aimed at computer users around the world.
The "Flame" virus, the most complex computer bug ever discovered, has been lurking for years inside Iranian government computers, spying on the country's officials.
In a statement posted on its website on Monday, the Iranian National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) said it discovered Flame after "multiple investigations" over the past few months.
The Iranian CERT team said it believes there is a "close relation" between Flame two previous cyber attacks on Iran, known as the Stuxnet and Duqu computer worms. Stuxnet is widely believed to have been launched by either the U.S. or Israel (or both countries).
This isn't traditional war. The Internet has leveled the playing field, allowing governments that would never launch military attacks on one another to target one another in cyberspace.
"In warfare, when a bomb goes off it detonates; in cyberwarfare, malware keeps going and gets proliferated," said Roger Cressey, senior vice president at security consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton, at a Bloomberg cybersecurity conference held in New York last month.
"Once a piece of malware is launched in wild, what happens to that code and its capability?" he added. "Things like Stuxnet are being reverse-engineered."
By Guy Azriel reporting from Jerusalem
Israel's Vice Prime Minister suggested Tuesday that his country has the capabilities to develop malware capable of attacking sophisticated computer systems, but would not confirm whether Israel has any role in the newly revealed “Flame” malware that has been infecting computers in the region, with Iran seeming to be a main target.
(Watch the video above for a good explanation of the Flame threat)
Speaking to Israeli Army radio, Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon said “Israel is blessed to be a nation possessing superior technology. In that respect our achievements open up all sorts of opportunities for us."
“Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a serious threat, not just for Israel, but the entire western world led by the United States would be likely to make use all possible means, including these in order to hurt them," said Yaalon, a former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, when asked about Israel’s involvement in cyber warfare activity. FULL POST