Tuesday, September 18, 2012
While routinely touting the necessity for tighter controls over the Internet in the name of cybersecurity, the U.S. government has again been caught creating computer viruses to wage cyber warfare in the Middle East.
Researchers working for both Kaspersky and Symantec have separately discovered that the United States is almost certainly responsible for three new viruses that are being used in Lebanon and Iran to conduct espionage, having already been identified as the culprits behind the 2010 Stuxnet virus and this year’s closely related Flame virus.
Kaspersky and Symantec experts are still unsure as to what the newly discovered viruses are designed to do, but have confirmed that they are operating in the Middle East, including Iran and Lebanon, and that the, “approach to uploading packages and downloading data fits the profile of military and/or intelligence operations.”
The new viruses, programs code-named SP, SPE and IP, use malware packages that try to “communicate with command and control servers.” The new viruses could be offshoots of the Flame virus or completely different pieces of software.
“The findings are likely to bolster a growing view that the U.S. government is using cyber technology more widely than previously believed to further its interests in the Middle East,” reports Haaretz.