Flame Virus – Espionage Malware

What Is The Flame Virus? Also known as – Flamer and Skywiper

Flame” is the name given to a complex type of Malware that was recently discovered after some attacks in some parts of Africa and the Middle East. Since the Flame Malware was just exposed, there is still a lot of research to be done in order to pin down its source and characteristics. What is known about Flame, codenamed “Worm.Win32.Flame,” is that it steals data. This is according to an article by a Kaspersky Lab Expert. In short, Flame is an espionage tool designed to steal information once it infects a computer. The virus is said to have the capability to record audio, taking snapshots and use Bluetooth technology to steal information from any device connected to an infected computer. You can read more technical specifics for the Flame virus in a Q and A article by Aleks.

Should Home Users Worry About Flame

Illustration - Flames VirusIt is not my intention to add to the panic. A lot of panic was probably already created by the announcement of the Flame virus. So, for our peace of mind, let’s explore what we can do about this cyber threat. First, it’s important to note that this computer virus is intended to gather intelligence. Therefore, I don’t think home users have much to worry about. Unless the attackers perceive some sort of link between a home user and source of Intel they are targeting; it’s highly unlikely that Flame will target home users.  However, this does not mean that home users should let their guard down. Victims of the Flame virus are said to range from individuals, state related organizations and educational institutions (mostly in parts of the Middle East and parts of East Africa). To avoid being an unknowing “vehicle” for the flame worm, home users should at least watch what they are downloading or sharing online and also be on the lookout for strange emails.

A Tool To Scan For the Flame Virus

Bitdefender Removal ToolThe only removal tool that I could find in English for the Flame virus is by BitDefender. The removal tools can be downloaded from their website. There is a 32 bit version and a 64 bit version of the Flame removal tool from BitDefender. Check your system properties first and make sure you download the correct version for your system. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will need to right click on the download and select the option to run the removal tool as an Administrator. There seems to be a few bugs with the removal tool according to the feedback on their website. But, I did not seem to have any problems running the removal tool; it could just be user error.

I’m sure we will be seeing more Flame removal tools from other big names in the security software industry. This is the only English Flame virus removal tool I could find from a source that I know. You are not obligated to use only this tool, feel free to check if your trusted security software provider has an update that protects against this threat. I hope you found this article useful.

Disclaimer: Our mention of the BitDefender Flame Worm removal tool does not in any way imply our experience with the effectiveness of this tool. We have not tested the tool long enough to attest to its effectiveness. The tool is only mentioned here as a resource for readers to look into. To find out more about BitDefender, we encourage you to visit their website.


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