A top Israeli minister yesterday fed speculation that the Jewish state could be responsible for a powerful new virus said to have been used in a fresh attack on computers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The discovery of the unprecedented complex data-stealing “Flame” virus was disclosed by a Russian-based digital security firm Kaspersky Lab. Its experts reported on Monday that it had been applied most actively in Iran, but also in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister, told the country’s Army Radio: “Anyone who sees the Iranian threat as a significant threat – it’s reasonable [to assume] that he will take various steps, including these, to harm it.”
Mr Yaalon, a former military Chief of Staff, added: “Israel was blessed as being a country rich with high-tech. These tools that we take pride in open up all kinds of opportunities for us.”
He stopped short of directly claiming responsibility, but Israel has long been in the forefront of opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme, currently the subject of difficult negotiations between Tehran and six world powers.