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January 01, 2012

Fujitsu developing cyber counter attack virus and Kaspersky labs identifies Stuxnet variations

1. Japan has been developing a virus that could track down the source of a cyber attack and neutralise its programme. The weapon is the culmination of a 179 million yen (USD 2.3 million) three-year project entrusted by the government to technology maker Fujitsu Ltd to develop a virus and equipment to monitor and analyse attacks, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported today.

2. Venture beat - Stuxnet has been called the most sophisticated computer worm ever created. We know there are siblings to the malware which took down Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, but now Kaspersky labs is saying there may be up to four other worms in the family tree.




In 2010, Stuxnet infiltrated Iran’s nuclear program. The highly capable malware targets an industrial control system called SCADA, which operates as a management tool for commercial grade software and hardware. It shut down the equipment responsible for creating fuel for nuclear weapons, which Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad later admitted. In 2011, the Duqu virus was discovered and named as part of the Stuxnet family of malware, bringing the count up to two highly sophisticated worms.

According to a report by Reuters, Russian security company Kaspersky Labs has identified three others. When originally found, Kaspersky said Stuxnet was so mature it could have been made by an intelligence agency. Later, the United States and Israel were both blamed for its creation and eventual dispersal. Neither country has taken responsibility.

Though we don’t know what lab the worms originated from, the same one gave birth to both Stuxnet and Duqu as well as the three siblings.

Stuxnet Modules and lego building blocks

The platform is comprised of a group of compatible software modules designed to fit together, each with different functions. Its developers can build new cyber weapons by simply adding and removing modules.

"It's like a Lego set. You can assemble the components into anything: a robot or a house or a tank," he said.

Kaspersky named the platform "Tilded" because many of the files in Duqu and Stuxnet have names beginning with the tilde symbol "~" and the letter "d."

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