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Spy virus linked to Israel targeted hotels used for Iran nuclear talks

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab finds three hotels that hosted Iran talks were targeted by a virus believed to be used by Israeli spies

When a leading cybersecurity firm discovered it had been hacked last year by a virus widely believed to be used by Israeli spies, it wanted to know who else was on the hit list. It checked millions of computers world-wide and three luxury European hotels popped up. The other hotels the firm tested—thousands in all—were clean.

Researchers at the firm, Kaspersky Lab ZAO, weren’t sure what to make of the results. Then they realized what the three hotels had in common. Each was targeted before hosting high-stakes negotiations between Iran and world powers over curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program.

The spyware, the firm has now concluded, was an improved version of Duqu, a virus first identified by cybersecurity experts in 2011, according to a Kaspersky report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and outside security experts. Current and former U.S. officials and many cybersecurity experts believe Duqu was designed to carry out Israel’s most sensitive intelligence-collection operations.

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