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September 18, 2012

US may have developed three computer viruses for espionage: researchers

The US has already been linked to the Stuxnet Trojan which attacked Iran's nuclear program in 2010

By CBR Staff Writer

Researchers from both Symantec and Kaspersky Labs claimed to have found evidence suggesting that the US may have developed three previously unknown computer viruses for purposes of espionage and cyber warfare.

According to researchers, about 12 computers in Iran and Lebanon are infected and the malware fits the profile of military operations.

The new findings are another indication that the US government plans to continue its pursuit of cyber warfare as an extension of national security in the Middle East.

The US has already been linked to the Stuxnet Trojan that attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010 and the Flame cyber surveillance tool which was uncovered in May 2012, according to Reuters.

Researchers have found evidence that Flame’s operators may have also worked with three other viruses which are yet to be discovered.

Researchers said that the Flame operation was managed using a piece of software named Newsforyou.

Kaspersky said that it was designed to look like a common programme for managing content on websites, which was likely done in a bid to disguise its real purpose from hosting providers or investigators so that the operation would not be compromised.

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Newsforyou handled four types of malicious software namely Flame and programs code-named SP, SPE and IP.

According to Symantec, Newsforyou allowed attackers to upload packages of code, to deliver to compromised computers, and to download packages containing stolen client data.

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