Photo: Flickr Swobodin
Several European firms that create software that controls industrial facilities, including nuclear reactors, have been hit by a virus that extracts information from their systems, The New York Times reports.The virus, known as Duqu, appears to have been made by the same people who made the Stuxnet virus, an infamous cyber weapon that attacked the Iran nuclear program last summer.
Internet security organisation Symantec describe Duqu on their website:
Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack. The threat was written by the same authors (or those that have access to the Stuxnet source code) and appears to have been created since the last Stuxnet file was recovered. Duqu’s purpose is to gather intelligence data and assets from entities, such as industrial control system manufacturers, in order to more easily conduct a future attack against another third party. The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.
One key point outlined by Systemac is that whoever created the file has access to the source code of Stuxnet, and is likely the creator of the previous virus.
Vikram Thakur of Symantec told the Times, “This is extremely sophisticated, this is cutting edge.”
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