Security FUD alert: Flame On. Flame Off. Flame Out.


By: SGN Staff


By Andy Bochman


Here we go again, and this one is not (energy) sector specific. It's more geo-specific ... see: Middle East and North Africa, at least for now. This is a clear-cut case of marketing security through fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD), and using the press's predictably Pavlovian response to maximize impact.

Depending on where you fit in the cyber food chain, maybe you like it, but I'm sick of it. Sick of it, I say. And I'm not going to take it anymore! (Yeah, right.)

Here's the opening salvo fired on March 29 by InformationWeek (and many others), giving you the fever-pitch, straight up horror story, no chaser:


Step aside, Stuxnet: Newly discovered espionage and information-gathering malware known as Flame ... appears to be even more sophisticated than the Stuxnet.


And with that we were off to the races. Just about every IT, cybersecurity and even mainstream media outlet picked up and broadcast the story in the first 24 hours. No questions asked it seemed.

Then along comes CSIS Senior Fellow James Lewis, two days later, with something quite a bit more tempered:


Flame is not a weapon, it's not the most sophisticated, it's not really that new, but it might be part of a large battle shaping up over the future of the Internet. Cyberespionage happens every day. This should not be news.


With that, Lewis definitely helped bring the hysteria down a notch or two. Much appreciated, Jim.

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