Flame Virus Modified, Sent To Lebanon As ‘Gauss’

A new computer virus, which bares a resemblance to the Flame malware, has been spotted in Lebanon. The new virus has been found on 2,500 computer in 25 countries but has focused most of its infection rate on one region.

According to Wired :

“The discovery appears to add to the steadily growing arsenal of malware created by the US and Israeli governments.”

The new virus known as “Guass” spyware can collect various bits of information including banking details, passwords, and more. It is still not clear if the program is capable of infrastructure attacks.

One analysts says of the virus which bears a resemblance to Stuxnet:

“Were obviously single-goal operations. But here I think what you see is a broader operation happening all in one.”

Gauss was created in 2011 and was discovered the same Russian team who first revealed the Flame virus, a state-backed computer program that infected many government computers throughout the middle east.

If the Gauss virus is once again government backed, it could be the first time a government created virus has went after personal information such as banking information. Grabbing banking info would allow government agencies to monitor for illegal activities, track transactions, and gain a better overall understanding of criminal networks and how their cash flows.

While the Russian government agency has only reported 2,500 PC infections at this time, they warn that the actually number could be in the hundreds of thousands.

Do you think computer viruses are becoming too advanced for their own good these days?

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