Iran’s nuclear program hit a setback in 2010 when a computer worm called “Stuxnet” struck uranium enrichment facilities in the country, and caused them to malfunction. At the time, many suggested that Israel, and maybe America, had designed the computer worm specifically to target Iran.
On The Takeaway last March, Richard Clarke, a counter-terrorism advisor to three presidents, said computer worms like Stuxnet were changing the face of international espionage. He explained that we're approaching the end of the James-Bond-era spy – and Bond is being replaced with lines of code that can take screenshots, delete documents, and even turn on a computer's microphone to record nearby conversations.
Now, a Moscow-based cyber security company has discovered a similar worm in the Middle East. This one, they say, is much more sophisticated than Stuxnet, and perhaps the most sophisticated malware ever of its kind. They’re calling it “Flame.” Roel Schouwenberg, a senior policy analyst for Kaspersky Labs, the company that discovered Flame, explains exactly what makes this worm so special. And Kim Zetter, a senior writer at Wired Magazine, discusses what this means for the future of espionage and security.