Another day, another virus - at least that's how it feels in the tech world. And the newest addition to the rotation is a terrifying one. According to reports, the Flame virus has taken the Middle East by storm, scouring government notebooks and laptops for whatever intelligence it can find.
Though the U.N voiced concern that Flame will spread to other regions, it isn't a threat to consumers just yet. And with targets as sophisticated as government intelligence agencies, it isn't likely to attack your personal Sony Vaio or Netbook One anytime soon. But once a new virus has been developed, you never know how it may affect your computer down the line.
So, what is it, and what can it do?
Kaspersky Lab expert Vitaly Kamlyuk describes it as "an attacking toolkit" that mixes trojan, backdoor and worm features to make up "the most sophisticated malware" out there, reports Russian news channel, RT.
Flame can draw data from the audio from a computer's microphone, and even "transmit visual data" from screen captures, says Kamlyuk. Additionally, it scours input boxes, cracking passwords that are concealed by asterisks. The virus can even scan Bluetooth devices for information if they're connected to an infected system.
So far, no one seems quite sure about how it sneaks into a system, whether through infected websites or other means. But they know that once Flame takes hold, it can move throughout a local network and even make its way onto USB drives and other portable devices.
The best way to protect your new device from the latest viruses is by determining the antivirus protection options that Apple, Toshiba and other brands offer. If you aren't sure where to start, talk to an expert at a computer retailer like PortableOne to learn more about current spyware and viruses, and the steps you can take to protect your new computer.