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July/August 2012

Talk of cyberwarfare threats heats up with Flame malware

Security experts and researchers generally are unfazed by cyberattacks using malware designed to collect intelligence data because it’s a practice that’s been done for years, but most agree the real threat is attacks aimed at causing destruction. In the hands of the wrong people -- extremists out to cause chaos to make a statement regardless of the fallout -- cyberweapons are too difficult to control, they say. The Flame malware toolkit, which emerged recently, has sparked a renewed discussion of cyberwarfare threats. Researchers conducting analysis of the malware are trying to shed light on how and why it was used. All signs point to nation-state sponsored cyber-intelligence gathering, a practice that has been going on for decades, according to security experts, and it’s likely there is no end in sight. Flame is now also linked to the Stuxnet worm, which returned to the public eye recently after new details emerged connecting the attack -- designed to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program -- to a joint American-Israeli operation ...

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