Run into more customer service bots lately? Let Marketplace Tech know. More info

Flame was intended to steal key Iranian data

John Moe Jun 5, 2012

In other Flame news, the BBC reports that Flame seems to have been built with the express purpose of stealing data from Iranian government computers. Not just a bit of malware that happened to end up in Iran but malware specifically targeted to do very particular things.

Says the BBC:

“They were looking for the designs of mechanical and electrical equipment,” said Prof Alan Woodward, a computing specialist from the University of Surrey.
“This could be either to find out how far advanced some particular project was/is, or to steal some design(s) to sell on the black market.
“However, Iran isn’t likely to have any intellectual property not available elsewhere. So, this suggests more a case of intelligence-gathering than onward selling on the black market.”

Now, you take this news and you take the news that Stuxnet (the Flame of last year) has now been confirmed as a creation of the American government and you can reasonably conclude that the U.S. may well be behind Flame. The only mitigating factor there is that several incidences of Flame infection happened in the United States as well.


We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.