Anyone who has spent longer than a day on a computer knows how dangerous to your hard drive malware and other malicious code can be. Most of us have fallen victim to one or the other and have cursed the day the hacker who developed it was born.
Now, according to reports, some of the most sophisticated malicious code ever developed is a product of the United States government, leaving more than a few tech experts and analysts concerned that maybe now, Washington has become a bigger info-terrorist than some of the country’s worst enemies.
If you’ve been following the so-called “shadow war” the U.S. and Israel have been waging against Iran (you didn’t know about that?) then you are aware of a malicious code called Stuxnet, a computer worm reportedly developed jointly by Tel Aviv and Washington and dissected in 2009 and 2010, that created havoc among the computer systems managing Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Now, analysts believe some of the same code used in Stuxnet was also used in Flame, the latter of which was just identified recently, to form two of the foremost cyber-weapons ever developed.
Two different platforms that shared some of the same code
“We are now 100 percent sure that the Flame and Stuxnet groups worked together,” Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher at Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, said during a press conference. “The fact that the Flame group shared their source code with the Stuxnet group shows they cooperated at least once.”
“We believed that the two teams only had access to some common resources, [but] that didn’t show any true collaboration,” Schouwenberg continued, in an interview with ABC News. “However, now it turns out that the Stuxnet team initially used Flame to kickstart the project. That proves collaboration and takes the connection between the two teams to a whole new level.”
Analysts believe Flame and Stuxnet viruses were built on two completely different platforms and were probably developed independently. Despite that, however, the two shared key pieces of code at some point during the development process, Kaspersky officials said.