I reported here about the Flame computer cyberweapon developed by Israel, which has infected individual computers in Iran and other Middle Eastern nations, including Israel and Palestine. A number of pro-Israel readers dismissed these findings. Now Kaspersky Labs, which was one of the first research teams to expose Flame’s existence, has confirmed a common element in the computer coding for each piece of malware. Initially it had only said that the two worms were developed by two separate teams which were working independently, but possibly in parallel.
Here is the summary of its findings:
- …A module from the early 2009-version of Stuxnet, known as “Resource 207,” was actually a Flame plugin.
- This means that when the Stuxnet worm was created in the beginning of 2009, the Flame platform already existed, and that in 2009, the source code of at least one module of Flame was used in Stuxnet.
- This module was used to spread the infection via USB drives. The code of the USB drive infection mechanism is identical in Flame and Stuxnet.
- The Flame module in Stuxnet also exploited a vulnerability which was unknown at the time and which enabled escalation of privileges…
- Subsequently, the Flame plugin module was removed from Stuxnet in 2010 and replaced by several different modules that utilized new vulnerabilities.
- Starting from 2010, the two development teams worked independently, with the only suspected cooperation taking place in terms of exchanging the know-how about the new “zero-day” vulnerabilities.
As far as I’m concerned, this further confirms the scoop conveyed by my Israeli source who told me that Flame was an Israeli product. Since the NY Times and others have earlier confirmed that Israel and the U.S. collaborated on the development of Stuxnet, the only question remaining is whether Flame was a similar effort or one by Israel alone.
Given that Flame has been found in computers in Palestine and Israel, my bet is that it was created by the IDF’s Unit 8200 alone and is being used solely to advance Israel’s own peculiar set of political-military-intelligence interests. I’ve reported here another scoop by my source that Flame was deployed by the Shin Bet to monitor the computer of Ehud Barak’s chief of staff, who the IDF chief of staff suspected of spying on him.
As I commented here earlier, Cyberwarfare — by its own — lies towards the benign end of the warfare spectrum, regardless of the legitimate or otherwise purpose it’s serving.
Having said that, effective weapons evolve, sooner or later, into double edged swords and Cyberwarfare is likely to do it much faster than more traditional, directly-lethal weaponry.
RE: “this further confirms the scoop conveyed by my Israeli source who told me that Flame was an Israeli product” ~ R.S.
THOUGHTINDIGESTION (from PC World, 6/08/12):
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/257236/flames_windows_update_hack_required_worldclass_cryptanalysis_researchers_say.html
P.S. So, it might be time to junk your Widows-based computers!
Daniel F says
ייִדיש קאָפּ…….lit “Jewish head”….pity we cannot use it wiser in other areas in Israel
OperationRedPill.com Staff says
The nature of this weapon is not severe, but the act of utilizing it is. It’s a definitive act of war.
Now, what makes it backwards is that the world is supposed to swallow Israel’s mere statements when the evidence points to the contrary that Flame Virus IS theirs, while also believing their word that Iran must be developing nuclear weapons (for 10 years now) without ANY evidence while they boast 400+ of their own in secret.
If we were to take the actions of Israel and Iran after Israel first complained of a supposed intent to “wipe it off the map” (btw transliterating from an Iranian re-quote of Khomeini from 20 years earlier with the word “REGIME”, pronounced identically, literally in the statement!!!), then we would clearly see that Israel has been committing acts of war against Iran, a nation that has been steadfastly denying and rejecting any wrongdoing, has actually clarified the mistranslation several times, has cooperated with the most robust inspection regime of all time, has asked for evidence to support the accusations for over a decade now without being presented to it ANY, and is the vanguard of a resistance bloc against imperialism in the region.
Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas was set to stop BEFORE the nuclear complaints about Iran germinated from Israel. Please see this about the Grand Bargain Fax and the opportunity to save us from all this was quashed by the Israel Lobby.
Whether it’s Israeli-borne, American-borne, neither or just a group of people who have figured out how to make country’s responsible for their specific crimes and Israel/US fall on the top of the suspects list as a result, there is a definite agenda to invade and attack Iran regardless of a nuclear program.
The sanctioning was a softening up. You can bet the same group that helped bring Iran to power in complete contradiction of their game plan was stupid enough to think this would all be a cakewalk. You can also bet these individuals are still barking on cameras to attack Iran today without shame.
And by a group, I mean definitive individuals, like John Bolton, William Kristol, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Colin Powell, W Bush, HW Bush, Alan Greenspan (see dates as Fed Chairman, will make more sense then), Wolfowitz, Carl Levin, Peter King, John McCain, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, Lindsey Graham, Barney Frank, the entirety of the Knesset, AIPAC, JNF, J-Street (controlled opposition visible from 500 miles away), down to Wolf Blitzer. These are all hardcore Zionists, as is Peter Beinart with his double-speak, for whatever reason, whether it’s to use Jews as a spark plug for Armageddon by herding them all up in Jerusalem to rebuild a second Temple (doesn’t end well for Jews), to perpetuate colonialism and imperialism/private interests, or to create a greater Israel that we have all seen the scary maps on which it has been drawn (that territory only comes by violent conquest). They have aided and abetted this sort of foul behavior using America’s national wealth, interests, and machinery, all the while are still delivering ACTS OF WAR to an enemy they are trying to do whatever they can to provoke into retaliation.
All the semantics in the world and posturing won’t fix Israel’s legacy at this point. While the US populace is kept in the shadows from an utterly silent press regarding anything negative Israel (see, for instance, the race riots….in…..zero publications), the rest of the world is hardly the same. See the last NPT Review Conference where 189 nations undoubtedly voted that Israel needs to come clean about its nuclear weapons and didn’t so much as grimace at Iran (much to Israel’s dismay and complaint). Even the US signed on to the demand.
Of course, Obama had to backpedal. He backpedaled too often at one point. You wonder if he was roping these dopes. Netanyahu and Barak may be the best assets America’s Cowboys have ever had!
The consequences? Mere world war and a collapse of a “global economy” for the first time in all of human history.
Bob Mann says
Thank you for posting this. If it turns out that the US was indeed involved, what does it mean with respect to our standing in the region? Do you think it would take a major hit?
Richard Silverstein says
You mean any worse than our current standing is in the region??
Yeah, what standing are you talking about? The US standing (“our” standing) doesn’t exist except in Israel where I imagine the US is treated with utter contempt behind closed doors. How could it be otherwise?
OperationRedPill.com Staff says
We don’t believe so. The majority of the world is under no illusion: the US is led by the nose on foreign policy by the Israel lobby.
Harvard Professor Stephen Walt (of the Council of Foreign Relations) and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer wrote extensively about this in their scholarly creation, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”. Although you may not like it, the information within is highly credible, compelling, and already believed by the majority of the world (even non-political types).
H,mmm, so a connection is found. Thanks for this, Richard. Nor more scepticism 🙂
my bet is that it was created by the IDF’s Unit 8200 alone and is being used solely to advance Israel’s own peculiar set of political-military-intelligence interests
Is your source not able to confirm if Flame was a collaboration with the US, or a sole Israeli venture?
I’d love to know what they found of interest on Palestinian computers. Any astute Palestinian would have already been aware that Shin Bet is monitoring them,
And when the boot is on the other foot? says
Going to be mighty interesting when the Americans and/or the Israelis discover that there is a Chinese-sourced virus doing the rounds that is as clever – if not more so – than this one.
What do they do?
A) Grin, shrug the shoulders, and take it like a man.
B) Scream the roof down that This Is Tantamount To War!!!
I know which one I’d lay bets on, and it ain’t Option A.
there isn’t a single sleazy idea that has not been promoted and undertaken by Israel in terms of its relations with other states. Not a one.
A point to ponder about.
Suppose people can prove measurable damage caused by some malware. And suppose there’s sufficient — for a civil case burden of proof — evidence that this particular malware was produced by one identifiable state or another (or both!).
Can that be remotely enough to establish some sort of class action somewhere?
Richard Silverstein says
I don’t know that there is enough forensic capability to prove to the satisfaction of a court that a piece of malware originated from a certain country or person. That’s pretty tough to prove. Even when they can prove it to their satisfaction, they can’t necessarily offer evidence that would stand up in court. That’s a higher standard. But I presume just as the cyberbugs will get more powerful so will tools to track them. So maybe they’ll get better at this & be able to track & trap such malefactors.
The evidence I was referring to were admissions of sort by bragging Israeli politicians (and possibly American ones, when elections time draws near). Don’t forget the burden of evidence in a civil case is well below the criminal “beyond reasonable doubt”.
Anyway, this was a point to ponder about only. To be honest, I can’t really see such case going through successfully.