(The Hosting News) – The aftermath of the now infamous ‘Flame’ virus initially discovered by Kaspersky Lab in May is so extensive that bits and pieces of it are still being deciphered months later. On Monday, the security company detailed yet another malware virus related to the complex operation that was likely launched via a nation state.
Known as miniFlame (aka SPE), the new virus received the attention of Kaspersky Lab experts in July. It was a malware platform related to Flame, yet unlike the larger one, its infections were only predicted to have affected around 10 thousand systems. Also unlike Flame, it didn’t appear to target any geographic region in particular. Flame had been primarily present in Iranian computers.
miniFlame was also said to be compatible with Gauss, a cyber-espionage platform previously reported on by Kaspersky as well.
And while its relation to Flame is clear, it can be operated independently from the virus via a separate module.
“The SPE malware, which we call “miniFlame”, is a small, fully functional espionage module designed for data theft and direct access to infected systems. If Flame and Gauss were massive spy operations, infecting thousands of users, miniFlame/SPE is a high precision, surgical attack tool,” commented Kaspersky in a blog post discussing the matter.
Kaspersky has been working with the International Telecommunication Union to analyze Flame’s aftermath. Flame vwas also noted for sharing similar coding with Stuxnet, another massive malware operation.
Such viruses (including Stuxnet and Flame) are thought to have been launched by the United Station States in coordination Israel, according to a New York Times report from June. Western allies have commonly remained at odds with Iran due to the country’s operation of a nuclear program.