Security researchers have linked the Flame virus to Israel while U.S. computer security experts say that it bears the hallmarks of the National Security Agency (NSA), according to reports from Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times and Robert Windrem of NBC News.
Flame is a massive program that leaves a backdoor (i.e. Trojan) on computers through which it sucks information from networks by actions that include recording keystrokes, capturing screen images, remotely changing settings on computers, turning every computer into a listening device and using Bluetooth to gather data from nearby cell phones and tablets.
The 20 megabyte virus was first discovered over the weekend by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab after a U.N. telecommunications agency asked it to analyze data on malicious software across the Middle East after Iranian reports of a data-wiping virus, according to Reuters.
Phantom Report Notes
Kaspersky researchers told The New York Times that Flame shares notable features with the Duqu and Stuxnet malware, including exploiting the same flaw in the Windows operating system and that they believe all three viruses were written by the same state-sponsored campaign.