Newly identified computer virus, used for spying, is 20 times size of Stuxnet


Ellen Nakashima
Washington Post

May 30, 2012

Researchers have identified a sophisticated new computer virus 20 times the size of Stuxnet, the malicious software that disabled centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear plant. But unlike Stuxnet, the new malware appears to be used solely for espionage.

Variously dubbed Flame, Skywiper and Flamer, the new virus is the largest and possibly most complex piece of malware ever discovered, which suggests it is state-sponsored, researchers said.

It is loaded with functions, but so far none appear to be destructive, they said.

As with Stuxnet, the creator of Flame remains a mystery, though some analysts say they suspect Israel and the United States, given the virus’s sophistication, among other things.

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