“Flame” malware – New and Sophisticated, or Old Corporate Trickery?

I wrote a bit about this type of malware several years ago: http://michaeltheroux.com/securing-the-windows-desktop/

“Flame” is malware that can remotely turn on your internal microphone to record audio, turn on webcam to capture video, capture screenshots and keyboard activity, and log network traffic. The program also records Skype conversations and can turn infected computers into Bluetooth beacons which attempt to download contact information from nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.Flame malware

Flame, is also known as Flamer, sKyWIper, and Skywiper, and has been considered by many “experts” to be, “the most sophisticated malware we encountered during our practice; arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found.”[1]

The truth is that this malware has been around for over a decade, and was hidden from its victims simply because the antivirus companies entered into an agreement with its authors not to detect it in their virus definition or pattern files.

This nefarious practice is commonplace where certain “agencies” work in tandem with antivirus vendors in order to bypass security.

Many of these techniques to mine the data from victim’s computers were developed several years ago – not by government intelligence agencies – but by a couple large corporations specifically to “spy” on company employees – to gather data on an employee’s every move while working – a veritable beta test for further deployment.

There are some valuable and justified uses of this type of malware – for instance, the FBI could certainly benefit from the use of these programs in suspected cases of trafficking in child pornography – and they have been employed for just this purpose.

But, the hype and hysteria surrounding the discovery of this supposedly “new” malware has been erroneously inflated by an increasingly gullible and uneducated media machine – or perhaps they have been paid as well as the anti virus companies contracted to “NOT” discover this “new” malware.

….much more to come on this!

~MT

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