It's big--20 times the size of Stuxnet--and it's stealthy--operating undetected for years--but the newly discovered Flame cyberespionage malware at its core is really just next-generation spyware.
This latest cyberweapon, which has the earmarks of a well-funded nation-state, further confirms suspicions that there are still attacks we can't see out there stealing information in the shadows, security experts say. Flame doesn't use the same codebase as Stuxnet or Duqu, but there are some haunting parallels: its prime target is Iran, its modular design is similar to Duqu's, and it uses the same exploits Stuxnet did. But Flame appears so far to be good old-fashioned espionage: It steals documents, takes screenshots of the victim's machine, records Skype calls, and snoops on email and instant messaging sessions.
Hacktivist and cybercriminal threats concern IT teams most, our first Federal Government Cybersecurity Survey reveals. Here's how they're fighting back. Also in the new, all-digital Top Federal IT Threats issue of InformationWeek Government: Why federal efforts to cut IT costs don't go far enough, and how the State Department is enhancing security. (Free registration required.)