In the cyber era, war is no longer just fought with guns and missiles on the battlefield. To incapacitate an enemy, all one has to do is infiltrate the opposition’s computers. This enables hackers to steal vital classified information as well as infect the systems with all sorts of malware.
Computers in Iran and other Arab nations have been attacked with a vicious virus. While no culprit has claimed responsibility for the attack, Israel has hinted that it may have some involvement.
The virus is being called the Flame, and Israel’s Vice Prime Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, stated that the cyber-attack is expected and justified given Iran’s history of making threats. He also added that Israel prides itself on its technological capabilities, which opens a wide door for the country to carry out various objectives while remaining under the radar.
The virus was initially detected by Kaspersky, an internet security firm. Flame is a malware with file transferring capabilities and is also able to record audio and keystrokes.
Ilan Proimovich, a Kaspersky representative, stated that Flame is operated via remote computer, which means it only becomes active when commanded to do so. This makes it extremely difficult to detect.
This is not the first cyber assault on Iran. Back in 2010, the country’s computer system came under attack by a virus called Stuxnet. Both the Flame and Stuxnet share striking similarities, though the former is designed for the purpose of gathering information, while the latter was created for the sole purpose of wrecking as much havoc to the computers as possible.
While the origin of the viruses remains unknown at this point, if Israel is behind it, it is not so adamant about denying it. If Israel is indeed the mastermind behind the Flame, then it could potentially foreshadow a bigger conflict between Israel and Iran in the near future.