Flame computer virus designed to sabotage Iran's computers, expert says
Top official at Symantec Corp says company identifies a component of Flame that allows operators to delete files from computers; Iran: Israel, U.S. intensifying cyber warfare attempts.
The Flame computer virus is not only capable of espionage but it can also sabotage computer systems and likely was used to attack Iran in April, according to a leading security company, Symantec Corp.
Iran had previously blamed Flame for causing data loss on computers in the country’s main oil export terminal and Oil Ministry. But prior to Symantec’s discovery, cyber experts had only unearthed evidence that proved the mysterious virus was capable of espionage.
Symantec researcher Vikram Thakur said on Thursday that the company has now identified a component of Flame that allows operators to delete files from computers.
”These guys have the capability to delete everything on the computer,” Thakur said. ”This is not something that is theoretical. It is absolutely there.”
Iran complained about the threat of cyber attacks again on Thursday, saying it had detected plans by the United States, Israel and Britain to launch a ”massive” strike after the breakdown of talks over Tehran’s nuclear activities.
Thakur's comments came after, on Thursday, Iran's intelligence minister accused the United States, Israel, and Britain of planning to launch a cyber attack against Iran following the latest round of nuclear talks in Moscow.
Speaking to the Iranian state run television network Press TV, Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi said: “Based on obtained information, the U.S. and the Zionist regime along with the MI6 planned an operation to launch a massive cyber attack against Iran's facilities following the meeting between Iran and the P5+1 in Moscow."
According to Moslehi, the alleged attempt to strike Iran's nuclear facilities failed over Iranian measures, adding: “They still seek to carry out the plan, but we have taken necessary measures."
The top Iranian official's comments came after, earlier this week, Moscow hosted the latest round of P5+1 nuclear talks, which ended in the apparent breakdown of talks.