WASHINGTON, June 19 The United States and Israel
jointly developed the Flame computer virus that collected
intelligence to help slow Iran's nuclear program, The Washington
Post reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous Western officials.
The so-called Flame malware aimed to map Iran's computer
networks and monitor computers of Iranian officials, the
newspaper said. It was designed to provide intelligence to help
in a cyber campaign against Iran's nuclear program, involving
the National Security Agency, the CIA and Israel's military, the
The cyber campaign against Iran's nuclear program has
included the use of another computer virus called Stuxnet that
caused malfunctions in Iran's nuclear enrichment equipment, the
Current and former U.S. and Western national security
officials confirmed to Reuters that the United States played a
role in creating the Flame virus.
Since Flame was an intelligence "collection" virus rather
than a cyberwarfare program to sabotage computer systems, it
required less-stringent U.S. legal and policy review than any
U.S. involvement in offensive cyberwarfare efforts, experts told
The CIA, NSA, Pentagon, and Office of the Director of
National Intelligence declined to comment.
Flame is the most complex computer spying program ever
Two leading computer security firms - Kaspersky Lab and
Symantec Corp - have linked some of the software code in the
Flame virus to the Stuxnet computer virus, which was widely
believed to have been used by the United States and Israel to
attack Iran's nuclear program.
(Reporting By Mark Hosenball; Editing by Philip Barbara)