MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 29 (UPI) -- A new, highly sophisticated malware threat has the ability to obtain information from infected systems mostly in the Middle East, U.S. security experts say.
Analysts with Norton by Symantec's Security Response team said the code for the malware dubbed W32.Flamer was not written by a single individual but by an organized well-funded group of personnel with directives.
The targets of this threat are located primarily in the Palestinian West Bank, Hungary, Iran and Lebanon, a Symantec release reported Tuesday.
Other targets include Russia, Austria, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, Symantec said.
Operating discreetly for at least two years, the malware has the capability of stealing documents, taking screenshots of user's computer desktops, spreading by way of USB drives and disabling security software, the release said.
The industry sectors or affiliations of individuals targeted by W32.Flamer are currently unclear, experts said, but many of the attacked systems appear to be personal computers being used from home Internet connections rather than organizational computers.