The anti-malware research firm, Kaspersky, recently announced they’ve detected a new spyware infection called Flame. Researchers speculate that Flame, a very sophisticated program, was created as a state-sponsored volley in what seems to be an escalating international cyberwar.
Kaspersky estimates that Flame has infected about 1,000 machines to date, so it is not yet widespread, but it can infect a fully-patched Windows 7 computer.
According to a Wired article on CNN.com, “All of the infections of Kaspersky customers appear to have been targeted and show no indication that a specific industry, such as the energy industry, or specific systems, such as industrial control systems, were singled out. Instead, the researchers believe Flame was designed to be an all-purpose tool that so far has infected a wide variety of victims. Among those hit have been individuals, private companies, educational institutions and government-run organizations.”
Symantec, a well-known maker of antivirus software, says the majority of its customers who have been hit with Flame reside in the Palestinian West Bank, Hungary, Iran, and Lebanon. There have also been reports from Austria, Russia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates.