The Washington Post is naming the United States as the maker and propagator of the Flame, a virus similar to Stuxnet, which crippled an Iranian nuclear facility that was recently discovered on Iranian computers. Turns out Flame was a precursor to Stuxnet. Its job was to sneak on to unsuspecting computers, record conversations by remotely turning on the microphone, log keystrokes, and send back other vital information back to its host.
The emerging details about Flame provide new clues to what is thought to be the first sustained campaign of cyber-sabotage against an adversary of the United States.
“This is about preparing the battlefield for another type of covert action,” said one former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official, who added that Flame and Stuxnet were elements of a broader assault that continues today. “Cyber-collection against the Iranian program is way further down the road than this.
Until now nobody has come right out and said the U.S. was involved in launching the attack, although it’s been widely thought that few groups besides the smarties at the National Security Agency and CIA had the brain power and covert skills to pull something like this off.