Iranian security experts report a virus far more dangerous than the Stuxnet worm has struck the country's computer systems.
Dubbed the “Flame,” the virus is one that has struck not only Iran, however, but a number of other enemies of Israel as well.
The Kaspersky Internet security firm is calling the “Flame” data-stealing virus the “most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed” and hinted it may have been created by the makers of the Stuxnet worm.
Kaspersky called the virus a “cyber-espionage worm” designed to collect and delete sensitive information, primarily in Middle Eastern countries.
The “Flame” has struck at least 600 specific computer systems in Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, Kaspersky malware expert Vitaly Kamluk told the BBC. He added that the virus has probably been operating discreetly for at least two years.
"This virus is stronger than its predecessor,” he said. “It is one that could only have been created by a state or other large entity.”
Problems in Iran's computer systems are also continuing to surface in connection with the 2010 “Stuxnet” virus. The malware successfully disabled the computers that operated Iran's uranium enrichment facility. More than 16,000 of the Natanz facility's centrifuges were destroyed as a result of the cyber attack.