Flame virus - Microsoft boosts security

2012-06-05 21:15
Flame virus uncovered by Kaspersky Labs. (Kaspersky, AFP)

Flame virus uncovered by Kaspersky Labs. (Kaspersky, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Boston - Discovery of the Flame virus that mainly affected computers in the Middle East, has prompted Microsoft to strengthen the security of a Windows programme that helps customers secure their PCs and update software.

Mike Reavey, senior director of the Microsoft Security Response Centre, said in a blog post that the world's biggest software maker plans to boost security measures on the Windows Update software that is included with the operating system that runs the majority of the world's PCs.

Microsoft disclosed over the weekend that the hackers who built Flame exploited a flaw in Windows that allowed them to trick PCs into believing it was a legitimate piece of software from Microsoft. The software was then downloaded onto computers using the Microsoft Update feature.

News of the Flame virus surfaced a week ago when cyber security experts described it as one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software discovered to date.

They are still investigating the virus, which they believe was released specifically to target computers in Iran and across the Middle East, similar to the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran's nuclear programme in 2010.

The security experts said Flame probably only infected several thousand computers and was targeted at entities that would be of interest to nations involved in espionage.

Microsoft said on its website on Sunday that it was releasing software to fix the bug using its Windows Update system. But security experts said machines infected with some advanced viruses may not benefit from that update because those viruses had disabled the Windows Update software.

That is partially what prompted the need to further boost the security of the Windows Update feature, they said.

"If Microsoft is going to 'harden' the update feature, they must also prevent writers of malicious software from disabling the updating process on local computers," said John Bumgarner, chief technology officer of the US Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit think-tank that studies the impact of cyber warfare.

Microsoft disclosed the plan to boost security of Windows Update late on Monday on a Microsoft Security Response Center blog.

Company officials could not immediately be reached to elaborate on Tuesday morning.

Yet Reavey said in a blog posted on Sunday that it was taking the flaw in Windows seriously because the bug could be exploited by developers of less sophisticated viruses to launch more widespread attacks.

Microsoft declined to say whether such attacks have already taken place.

Read more on:    microsoft  |  us  |  online security  |  internet security
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Minister promises high security on election day

Police will be out in full force in Manenberg on election day, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has told residents of Cape Town's gang-plagued township.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Langa - 06:40 AM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Turf Hall Road and the N2 Highway
  • Friday Rondebosch - 06:38 AM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery and the Kromboom Road exit
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.