During this month remember having breakfast with a piece of news for many media seem to be new or exclusively connected with some Hollywood films, giving it a connotation of "amazing." I refer to espionage through computerized means.
Then leave a screenshot of the news, in which it's evident that the malicious code are also part of the operations of intelligence in different contexts, both from a viewpoint clearly fraudulent (in the case of computer criminals) as which shields under the "flag" to protect and safeguard the interests of a State (for many intelligence services), which seek to take advantage and/or neutralize the potential actions framed within the context of hostility.
Indeed, in many cases, touching the legality of actions.
According to the information that appears in the article, the most important intelligence service of Israel (Mossad) has used a type of malicious code trojan to obtain confidential information and critiques on nuclear facilities in Syria.
The fact that Mossad used a program to spy isn't a novelty because, like its American counterpart (CIA) and many other formerly used Promis as a resource for spying.
(Someday maybe encourage me to write something about the programs used by intelligence services around the world ;P)
The point is that regardless of the impact of the news, malicious code are without doubt one of the most used for obtaining information, including at government and military, even among companies seeking to obtain confidential data that enable disclose their activities and win competition advantages.
Now, any organization or government entity may be a victim of espionage, and these activities must also be addressed by Information Security. So what can be done to counteract or neutralize these activities, which in most cases are handled on the edge of illegality, the truth isn't easy. However, implementing a strategy of misinformation can be a good practice of counterintelligence.
Ultimately it's easy to deduce that such maneuvers aren't only stock listed as "ghosts" or within the genre "science fiction" films themselves, but every day we are potential victims of the persistent attempts of malware writers seeking to break our security frameworks to obtain secret information.
Computer Intelligence, Information Security and Cyber-War
CYBINT in the business of Russian cyber-crooks
Pistus Malware Intelligence