Eugene Kaspersky, the chief executive of Kaspersky labs has said that part of the Flame virus program code is almost identical to code from a 2009 version of Stuxnet. He spoke out at the Reuters Global Media and Technology Summit on Monday.
The information was confirmed later in the day by rival security firm, Symantec Corp, who said that some of the source code was shared between the programs.
The new findings will reinforce the belief of many security experts that Stuxnet was part of a US organised cyber program which is still active in the Middle East.
Flame has been getting a lot of media attention due to the sophisticated nature of the code, heralded as one of the most complex viruses ever made. It appears to be targeted towards energy industry offices and government organisations in Iran, Israel, Sudan and Palestinian.
The code can steal and alter electronic files, and it has twenty times as much code as Stuxnet. It hijacks Microsoft’s process for automatic updates to install itself on the infected machine.
Kaspersky and Symantec have yet to say who they feel are behind the code, but other organisations such as the New York Times say that the US and Israel are behind the Stuxnet code.
Kaspersky did say “there were two different teams working in collaboration” in regards to Stuxnet and Flame.
Liam O Murchu, Symantec research manager said “Symantec Security Response confirms Flamer and Stuxnet share some of its source code” saying that code analysis was still underway.
Kaspersky have said that Flame was created with a different set of tools to Stuxnet, but the analysis into the code would take many months of time. They found a version of Stuxnet from 2009 which is almost identical to Flame. This would suggest that the engineers who built the two viruses have access to the same source code.
Kitguru says: Eugene Kaspersky said that they felt a team of 100 people or more may have been behind the code for the Flame virus.