Washington, June 5: Software giant Microsoft has warned users that the recently discovered Flame virus that attacked systems across the Middle East infects computers by exploiting a flaw in the Windows operating system.
Microsoft has now released software to protect against infections exploiting the previously undisclosed flaw.
Mike Reavey, a senior director with Microsoft’s Security Response Centre, said that he feared that other hackers might be able to copy the technique to launch further attacks with other types of viruses, News 24 reports.
“We continue to investigate this issue and will take any appropriate actions to help protect customers,” Reavey said in a blog post.
Reavey further revealed that the flaw in the operating system enabled Flame to install itself on computers by tricking Windows into believing that the malicious software was a legitimate programme from Microsoft.
News of the Flame virus, which surfaced a week ago, generated headlines around the world as researchers said that technical evidence suggests it was built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear programme in 2010.
Analysts who have investigated the virus and the pattern of infection claimed that Flame, also called Skywiper, is one of the most complex computer espionage threats ever seen. (ANI)