08/06/2012 10:48 BST | Updated 08/06/2012 10:50 BST

Flame: Cyber Superweapon Carried 'Suicide' Self-Destruct Command

The online 'super weapon' Flame had the ability to 'commit suicide' and shut itself down when detected, it has emerged.

Flame has been called the most malicious online attack ever discovered.

Researchers say it had the ability to control computers remotely, download virtually any information it needed, compromise nearby devices with Bluetooth, map nearby locations and record and send back audio.

On Thursday a UN official said it was likely that a government was behind the attack.

Now researchers from Symantec Security Resonse, who helped to uncover the attack and raise the alarm, have said the virus was able to self-combust after detection.

The security company said: "Late last week, some Flamer command-and-control (C&C) servers sent an updated command to several compromised computers.

"This command was designed to completely remove Flamer from the compromised computer."

It is likely the command was used by the attackers in an attempt to cover their tracks.

Also on Friday Ars Technica reported that Flame was only achieved by the use of "world class" cryptography.

"The results have shown that not our published chosen-prefix collision attack was used, but an entirely new and unknown variant," said Marc Stevens from Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica in Amsterdam, in a statement.

"This has led to our conclusion that the design of Flame is partly based on world-class cryptanalysis."