Researchers at Symantec have recently discovered a new and dangerous variant of the Stuxnet worm called Duqu. Duqu was first seen in Europe, but is thought to be spreading to the US and Asia. Some portions of the Duqu code base are identical to Stuxnet, but are different in key ways:
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While some code may be the same, Symantec says Duqu’s purpose is to gather intelligence data and assets from entities like industrial control system manufacturers to conduct a future attack against another third party. It says attackers are looking for information that could help them launch an attack on an industrial control facility. Symantec says the threat was “highly targeted” toward a limited number of organizations for their specific assets.
The first widely exposed variant of Stuxnet was JMINET / NETP191 seen in Europe, and it is likely that in addition to Duqu, additional variants will be found.
More information on Duqu is available on Symantec’s website.