CIO Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
Daily Briefing for Technology's Top Decision-Makers
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
Thursday, April 24th 
Next Generation Data Center Is Here!
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Enterprise Software
Enterprise Hardware
Big Data
Network Security
Cloud Computing
CRM Systems
Data Storage
Operating Systems
Communications
CIO Issues
Mobile Tech
Chips & Processors
World Wide Web
Business Briefing
After Hours
Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Network Security

Meet Flame's Malicious Little Brother, miniFlame

Meet Flame
October 15, 2012 1:34PM

Bookmark and Share
Kaspersky Labs found that miniFlame is based on the same architectural platform as Flame, and that it operates in cyber espionage as a backdoor for data theft and for access to infected systems. Six variations of miniFlame have been found so far, and its development is thought to have started as early as 2007 and continued through 2011.

Your Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems: the world's most advanced converged infrastructure are built on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intel® Xeon® processors. Vblock™ Systems deliver extraordinary time to market, ROI and TCO, and flexibility to meet your continually changing demands with 5X faster deployment, 96% less downtime, and 1/2 the cost. Click here to learn more.

Here comes miniFlame. On Monday, security firm Kaspersky Labs announced that it had discovered, and dubbed with that name, a small and "highly flexible" malicious spy program for grabbing data and controlling systems.

"Spy," in this case, doesn't mean eavesdropping on your transactions with your local bank, but actual country-to-country espionage, as miniFlame's big brother, Flame, reportedly did. Also known as SPE, miniFlame was originally identified by Kaspersky experts in July as a module within Flame.

Interoperable Tool

Last month, Kaspersky conducted a deeper analysis of Flame, after the discovery of another apparently state-sponsored malware it called Gauss. Kaspersky found that the miniFlame module was, in fact, an interoperable tool that could serve either as independent malware, or as a plug-in for either Flame or Gauss. This analysis led to the conclusion by Kaspersky that there had been co-operation, at least, between the creators of Flame and Gauss.

Kaspersky's chief security expert, Alexander Gostev, said in a statement that miniFlame is "a high precision attack tool," and that it is probably used in a "second wave of a cyberattack." According to the security firm, miniFlame was most likely deployed for extremely targeted cyber espionage, was probably used inside machines already infected by Flame or Gauss, and has probably infected 10 to 20 machines.

The most likely scenario, Gostev said, is Flame or Gauss is used "to infect as many victims as possible to collect large quantities of information." After the data has been retrieved and reviewed, he surmised, miniFlame "is installed in order to conduct more in-depth surveillance and cyber-espionage.

Kaspersky also found that miniFlame is based on the same architectural platform as Flame, and that it operates as a backdoor for data theft and for access to infected systems. Six variations of miniFlame have been found so far, and its development is thought to have started as early as 2007 and continued through 2011.

'Most Sophisticated Cyber Weapon'

In early May, the existence of the Flame virus was first revealed by security experts, which they described as one of the most complex viruses ever found. It's not clear who created it, or for what purpose, but most experts believe it was targeted specifically at computers in Iran and possibly other Middle Eastern countries. The virus' creator has been attributed, without confirmation, to either the United States or Israel, or both.

Later in May, Microsoft announced that it was increasing security on its Windows Update software, which apparently had been used to distribute the Flame virus. The technology giant said that whoever built Flame had designed it to look like a legitimate download to the receiving computer or computers. Apparently, Flame intercepted requests to Microsoft Update by uninfected computers, and then delivered its virus to those computers.

Kaspersky Labs, which helped discover Flame, has written on its SecureList blog that Flame "is one of the most interesting and complex malicious programs we have ever seen."

In short, the Labs wrote, while the previous Stuxnet and Duqu were super-virus weapons that "raised the stakes," Flame is possibly "the most sophisticated cyber weapon yet released."

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



 Network Security
1. Fund Seeks To Head Off Heartbleeds
2. Lessons from Verizon's Threat Report
3. Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
4. How Are Web Sites Post-Heartbleed?
5. White House Updating Privacy Policy




 Most Popular Articles
1. BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Nasty Spat
2. Cisco, IBM Launch Internet of Things Consortium
3. Salesforce CRM Gets Industry Specific for Internet of Customers
4. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics
5. SAP HANA Data Warehouse App Gets Faster Analytics

Have an informed opinion on this story?
Send a Letter to the Editor.
We want to know what you think.
Send us your Feedback.

 Related Topics  Latest News & Special Reports

  FCC Defends Internet Traffic Proposal
  Fund Seeks To Head Off Heartbleeds
  Salesforce Developing App SOS Button
  Google Maps, Now with Time Travel
  Lessons from Verizon's Threat Report

 Technology Marketplace
Business Intelligence
Get real-time, cloud-based information services with Neustar.
 
Cloud Computing
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
 
Contact Centers
HP delivers the future of the contact center with HP Qfiniti 10.
 
Data Storage
Next Generation Data Center Is Here! Vblock™ Systems from VCE
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Enterprise Hardware
Barium Ferrite (BaFe) is the future of tape.
2.5" Enterprise-class SATA & SAS SSDs for server & storage applications
 
Hardware
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 
Network Security
Protect your network with APC Smart-UPS battery backup
 

Network Security Spotlight
Tech Giants Fund Initiative To Prevent Future Heartbleeds
Can more funding prevent Heartbleed vulnerabilities in future open-source software? A new Core Infrastructure Initiative at the Linux Foundation is attempting to find out.
 
What Verizon's Data Breach Report Can Teach Enterprises
It’s probably not a jaw-dropper, but cyberespionage is officially on the rise. And the use of stolen or misused credentials is still the leading way the bad guys gain access to corporate information.
 
Top Cyberthreats Exposed by Verizon Report
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Navigation
CIO Today
Home/Top News | Enterprise Software | Enterprise Hardware | Big Data | Network Security | Cloud Computing | CRM Systems
Data Storage | Operating Systems | Communications | CIO Issues | Mobile Tech | Chips & Processors | World Wide Web
Business Briefing | After Hours | Press Releases
Also visit these Enterprise Technology Sites
Top Tech News | CIO Today | Mobile Tech Today | Data Storage Today

Services:
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About CIO Today Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Services for PR Pros (In partnership with NewsFactor) | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 CIO Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.