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Officials: US and Israel created Flame cyber weapon

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A U.S. and Israeli collaboration created the vastly complex cyber weapon Flame, designed to slow Iran’s nuclear program, officials familiar with the mission have told The Washington Post.

Development of the Flame virus was overseen by the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s military, the report noted. Those same groups also developed Stuxnet, the first cyber weapon discovered that was believed to have been created with state-backing. Some of Stuxnet’s code was also detected in Flame.

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Flame is capable of turning on microphones and cameras, monitoring online activities and keystrokes and pinpointing the location of users. Deployed more than five years ago, it remained hidden by cracking the encryption in Microsoft’s Windows Update program, allowing the creators to communicate with the program remotely.

The virus was first spotted in May by Kaspersky Lab, an anti-virus company. They noted that it contained code that specifically sought out PDF and AutoCAD files, which may indicate that its creators were interested in detailed schematics pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program. The company added that Iran also sustained the highest number of Flame inflections.

Shortly after Kaspersky announced its discovery, the virus’s “command-and-control infrastructure, which had been operating for years, went dark.” Days later, anti-virus company Symantec added that various Flame infections appeared to have been given a self-destruct command, leaving no trace on the former host computers.
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Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

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John Bolton lawyer tells judge his interests do not align with WH chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

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Former National Security Advisor John Bolton told a federal judge on Monday that his interests do not align with those of acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

"A long-simmering feud within the White House broke into the open on Monday as a lawyer for John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, filed a motion trying to keep Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, from joining a lawsuit over impeachment testimony," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker reported Monday.

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Trump’s lie about ‘doctored’ impeachment transcripts debunked by impeachment witnesses’ lawyers

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President Donald Trump on Monday falsely accused Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) of releasing "doctored" transcripts of impeachment inquiry witnesses and then bizarrely suggested that Republicans release their own versions of the transcripts.

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Trump-appointed judge delivers major blow to president’s efforts to keep his taxes secret

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President Donald Trump on Monday suffered yet another legal defeat in his quest to keep his tax returns a secret -- and it came at the hands of one of the president's own appointees.

CNN reports that Trump-appointed Judge Carl Nichols the of United States District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the president cannot sue the state of New York in his court to prevent the release of his taxes.

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