Thoughts On Flame, Iran, and Responsibility

1. If the U.S. government was behind the Flame and/or Stuxnet malware that appears to have intentionally targeted Iran, isn’t that an overt act of war? If we discovered another country’s government did this to the U.S., would we consider that an act of war?

2. If this malware gets into the wild, beyond Iran, and does damage to others, be they corporations, countries, private citizens, etc. … are the govt. leaders and politicians (perhaps even the Commanders In Chief) who ran this program morally and legally responsible? Who will make the victims whole? Should politicians and govt. employees be held to the same standards of accountability as private citizens?

Meet ‘Flame,’ The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers – Wired.com: “A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation.

The malware, discovered by Russia-based antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab, is an espionage toolkit that has been infecting targeted systems in Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, the Israeli Occupied Territories and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa for at least two years.

Dubbed “Flame” by Kaspersky, the malicious code dwarfs Stuxnet in size — the groundbreaking infrastructure-sabotaging malware that is believed to have wreaked havoc on Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010. Although Flame has both a different purpose and composition than Stuxnet, and appears to have been written by different programmers, its complexity, the geographic scope of its infections and its behavior indicate strongly that a nation-state is behind Flame, rather than common cyber-criminals — marking it as yet another tool in the growing arsenal of cyberweaponry.”

Related links:
The Flame Virus: Your FAQs Answered – PCWorld
‘Flame,’ a cyberweapon that makes Stuxnet look cheap
The Flame Virus: Spyware on an Unprecedented Scale
Why Antivirus Companies Like Mine Failed to Catch Flame and Stuxnet
Iran Confirms Attack by a Virus That Steals Data – NYTimes.com