03/Sep/2014 - Last News Update: 01:58

Flame: Israel rejects link to malware cyber-attack

Category: Technology

Published: 31st May 2012 10:32:33

Israel has dismissed suggestions that it might be behind the Flame cyber-attack.

Several media reports linked comments made by the country's vice prime minister with the malware, which has infected more than 600 targets.

However, a spokesman for the Israeli government told the BBC that Moshe Ya'alon had been misrepresented.

Security experts said it was still too early to pinpoint the source of the attack.

Mr Ya'alon, who is also Israel's minister of strategic affairs, discussed the attacks on Israel's military radio station, Army Radio.

"There are quite a few governments in the west that have rich high-tech [capabilities] that view Iran, and particularly the Iranian nuclear threat, as a meaningful threat - and can possibly be involved with this field," he said.

"I would imagine that everyone who sees the Iranian nuclear threat as a significant one, and that is not only Israel, it is the entire Western world, headed by the United States of America, would likely take every single measure available, including these, to harm the Iranian nuclear project."

When asked to clarify Mr Ya'alon's comments by the BBC, a spokesman for the minister said: "There was no part of the interview where the minister has said anything to imply that Israel was responsible for the virus."

Other speculation has linked the US with the malware. An anonymous US official told NBC News the country was behind the attack - but conceded he had "no first-hand knowledge" of the matter. The US has also denied responsibility.

Many analysts said Stuxnet, a past high-profile attack which shares some similarities with Flame, could have been orchestrated by both countries.

Leading security expert Ralph Langner said in 2011 that Mossad - Israel's security agency - had collaborated in the attack with US intelligence. Both countries deny involvement.

Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs, which was among the first to reveal details of Flame, told the BBC that it could take months, or even years, to determine where it had originated.

However, its researchers have noted that whoever was behind the malware appeared to be retreating slowly.

"It's very tough to shut down 80+ command and control servers down at the same time," explained Roel Schouwenberg, senior security researcher.

"Some of them are not active anymore. I think this is some sort of effort to buy themselves some time and change the game plan if the need would arise.

"We've seen it in the past, that after some period of silence, that the operation is rebooted."

The United Nations has described Flame as a significant espionage tool which could affect critical infrastructure - and issued its "most serious" cyber security warning to date.

However, others have suggested the threat had been overplayed.

"We seem to be getting to a point where every time new malware is discovered it's branded 'the worst ever'," said US security researcher Marcus Carey.

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Flame: Israel rejects link to malware cyber-attack [Online] (Updated 31st May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432023/Flame-Israel-rejects-link-to-malware-cyber-attack [Accessed 3rd Sep 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Arthur Andersen name revived more than a decade after collapse

    US auditor Arthur Andersen is having its name resurrected more than a decade after it collapsed because of the Enron accounting scandal.
  • Nato summit: £3.5bn armoured vehicle deal to be signed

    A £3.5bn deal for nearly 600 new armoured vehicles will be signed in Caerphilly county ahead of the Nato summit.
  • Arthur Andersen name revived more than a decade after collapse

    US auditor Arthur Andersen is having its name resurrected more than a decade after it collapsed because of the Enron accounting scandal.
  • Horizon: The defenders of anonymity on the internet

    You may not realise it, but every time you open up your laptop or switch on your phone, you are at the heart of one of the greatest battles now taking place in our midst - what shape will the internet take in the future, and what role will anonymity play in deciding it?
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • No prosecution over Druids' Ardoyne Fleadh comments

    There will be no prosecutions over complaints about the performance of a folk band at the Ardoyne Fleadh last month.