said by Name Game:
... there might not have been a mole but rather an unsuspecting party...the whole article is a good technical read.
FLAME The Story of Leaked Data Carried by Human Vector
So, how is the memory stick carried between the two systems? Well, here is where the human factor kicks in. So its amazing how two instances of Flame communicate with one another using a memory stick and a human as a channel. A private channel is created between two machines and the person carrying the memory stick has no idea that he/she is actually contributing to the data leak. Of course this operation could also be achieved by a man inside a mole who intentionally carries the stick from the restricted network that is being spied on to a system with internet access.
A sneaker-net, just as it's always been, remains a network... primitive or simplistic or slow as that might be. And if one of the sneaker-netted computers is connected to the Internet, then all the sneaker-netted computers are connected to the Internet - only over very slow, erratic links. It's all so 1990 retro... only now we use terms like "human vectors," and USB flashdrives are the data containers instead of 5-1/4 or 3-1/2 inch floppies.edited to add:
A long time ago (in computer years), a pretty smart coworker once told me that computers are like hospital patients, and you have to apply infection controls as if they were. Anything you stick into one patient, you don't just stick into another patient without disinfecting it first... you assume it's contaminated, unless absolutely proven otherwise.
That's why smart organizations once clamped down, HARD, on sneaker-nets... and banned ANY "outside" media from being brought into their facilities and put into their systems. It wasn't perfect, but it helped contain plagues. Now we're in the era of the employee laptop, the micro-Flashdrive, and all the rest. And, because of the twin attractions of 'user convenience' and having 24/7 employees available via "outside" lappies, many organizations have apparently regressed to the olden days, back before "infection control" and the cross-contamination prohibitions. And obviously, some spook agencies out there in this cold, cruel world have taken notice... as well as exploitive action.--
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!" -- P.Henry, 1775