Data Storage Today

CIO Today Network Sites:   Top Tech News  |   CIO Today   |   Mobile Tech Today   |   Data Storage Today
News & Information for Data Storage Professionals
Neustar, Inc.
Protect your website & network
using real-time information & analysis

www.neustar.biz
Wednesday, April 23rd 
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Trending Topics:   Security Heartbleed Big Data Cloud Computing Windows XP Data Centers OS X Mavericks
Home
Data Centers
Storage Solutions
Storage Networks
Data Storage Issues
Data Security
DST Press Releases
 
Free Newsletters
Top CIO News
 
Mobile Tech Today
 

Data 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.

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.

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:



 Data Security
1. Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
2. Heartbleed Exploit Could Cost Millions
3. Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
4. Malware Targets Facebook Users
5. IBM Adds Disaster Recovery to SoftLayer




 Most Popular Articles
1. Intel Bets on Cloudera for Big Data Analytics
2. SAP HANA Data Warehouse App Gets Faster Analytics
3. Fast Seagate 6 TB Drive Offered for Enterprise Data Centers
4. California DMV Investigates Possible Security Breach
5. Resetting All Passwords Now May Be Worst Heartbleed Fix

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

  Verizon Report Exposes Cyberthreats
  Samsung Data Center Catches Fire
  Heartbleed Exploit Could Cost Millions
  Michaels: Nearly 3M Cards Breached
  Malware Targets Facebook Users

 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
Verizon Data Breach Report Exposes Top Threats
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.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 
White House Updating Online Privacy Policy
A new Obama administration privacy policy explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, saying much is in the public domain.
 
Navigation
Data Storage Today
Home/Top News | Data Centers | Storage Solutions | Storage Networks | Data Storage Issues | Data Security | DST 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 Data Storage Today. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.