Cybersleuths Link Flame, Stuxnet
Kaspersky finding suggests two viruses originated in US or Israel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 12, 2012 12:52 PM CDT
This image details a focus of the notorious cyber virus Flamer, as researched by the cyber security firm Norman ASA.   (PRNewsFoto/Norman ASA)

(Newser) – Cybersecurity researchers said yesterday that they'd found a link between the infrastructure-wrecking cyberweapon known as Stuxnet and the recently-discovered Flame virus—possibly offering a new clue about the latter's origins. Kaspersky Labs expert Alexander Gostev said in a blog post that his company had identified a similarity between a subset of the code used in Flame and another set of code used in an early version of Stuxnet, which is believed to have been aimed at Iran's disputed nuclear program.

Kaspersky had previously said that the two worked off of different coding platforms. "It turns out we were wrong," Gostev said. "Wrong, in that we believed Flame and Stuxnet were two unrelated projects." An English cybersecurity researcher backed Kaspersky's analysis, saying that the similarity they identified "does suggest that very early on there was some sharing" between the viruses' authors. Stuxnet revolutionized the cybersecurity field, and speculation as to its authorship quickly settled around Israel or the United States. If Kaspersky is correct, that suggests that Flame shared similar origins.