by Constantine von Hoffman

Flame Malware Made in the USA (We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!)

Jun 11, 20123 mins

So what if the U.S. critical-utilities infrastructure is less secure than a child's piggy bank? So what if our government’s defense and intelligence networks are more compromised than a herd of Kardashians? Americans made the Ferrari of malware!

Apparently the Flame cyber-espionage malware has the same DNA as Stuxnet. Eugene Kaspersky said Monday that his researchers found part of the Flame code to be nearly identical to code found in a 2009 version of Stuxnet. And you know who made Stuxnet, right?

Even though many folks suspected Flame was made in the U.S.A., this is as close as anyone has come to saying so. As an American I feel a wee-bit of national pride. So what if our critical utilities infrastructure is less secure than my son’s piggy bank? And so what if the government’s defense and intelligence networks are more compromised than a herd of Kardashians? We made the coolest piece of malware since William Gibson invented Black Ice in Neuromancer.

What’s even more impressive: We did it in spite of the fact that we are to national security as George Lucas is to good movies. Just like Lucas, we’ve never found a problem that couldn’t be solved by throwing more money at it. That’s how we ended up with the Keystone Kops over at the Department of Homeland Security. That’s why we spend half a trillion dollars a year on a military that’s perfectly designed to re-fight World War II.

It is astonishing to think that Flame, the Ferrari/James Bond of malware, came out of our government. This is the same government that built the largest navy in the history of the world to protect us from the USSR, possessors of the largest army in the history of the world. Even after the USSR fell apart, we maintained that navy. And, even though it doesn’t seem to be able to stop pirates operating out of the world’s poorest nation, that’s a damned good thing. Because now we are redeploying our naval forces to the Pacific to counter China, which has had the largest army on the planet since the Soviets’ demise. (We really should be grateful to the Chinese. If it wasn’t for them buying all those government bonds we wouldn’t be able to afford our military.)

So even though Flame is being re-purposed for use against homes and offices even as I write this, I must say: Way to go Military Industrial Complex!

In the words of the great military thinker John Winger*:

“So we’re all dogfaces, we’re all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army. We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us – we’re soldiers. But we’re American soldiers! We’ve been kicking ass for 200 years! We’re 10 and 1!”

We’re 10 and 3 now, but what the hell?

*I went through Basic Training at Ft. Knox — where they filmed Stripes — and I want you to know that movie is a documentary.