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As we have been working with Windows 8 and Windows 2012 server we have become increasingly concerned about security. Although Microsoft has claimed that they have improved security through items like the locked UEFI boot process there are still glaring omissions in security that keep popping up very recently it was noted that despite the claims from Microsoft of a more secure login process the password hint is exposed in the SID database and easily recovered remotely. We also found that users’ contact lists are also left in the open (and in plain text) and available to anyone that can gain remote elevated privileges; which is what almost all Viruses and Malware try to do.

Published in Editorials
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 21:14

New Malware Found with Stuxnet Similarities

84Just in case all of the warnings that we gave you before about SCDA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) devices and how insecure most of them are was not enough. We now find that a new piece of malware that appears to be intended spy on industrial networks as a precursor to a future attack like the Stuxnet malware that hit last year. Dubbed Duqu because of a prefix attached to files the new malware creates this new bit of code is very concerning to security experts.

The code was found on several Windows based systems across multiple companies in Europe. These companies were not directly identified but all appear to have connections to industries that directly interact with basic infrastructure services.  As of right now Duqu appears content to just gather information and report back to its command and control servers (including using an internal key logger).  Duqu also appears to be sending JPG files back and forth between the server and the infected system, but as many found out to their dismay you can embed quite a bit of information in a JPG files so these could be used to send control instructions and responses or could be nothing more than test files right now.

So far researchers are at a loss as to what Duqu is collecting and why this is happening. They do know that the attacks have been going on since at least December 2010 and that the first variant identified used a stolen certificate much like the original Stuxnet did. Researchers at Symantec and McAfee also feel that the creators of this code had access to the source code of Stuxnet as the two pieces of Malware are very similar in the way they operate and the coding used. Both McAfee and Symantec have also stated that Duqu does not spread and that it does not appear to use any known exploits. This would indicate that the malware uses tactics like drive-by, or social engineering based exploits. These rely on human intervention to download and install the malicious code on a system usually via email or web link.

We personally wonder if this is related to some of the rumors about Anonymous stepping up their attacks on Governments and Large Corporations. After all with what they can gather using some fairly simple techniques (and a nice bit of coding) they can put some rather devastating plans into action very quickly. If this is the case (and this is all just speculation) then we might be looking at an attack that no one is really prepared for. Then again this could all be nothing more than a reconnaissance mission, especially considering the fact that the code uninstalls itself after 30 days…

Source Symantec and McAfee
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Published in News