Skip to main content

Kaspersky: Stuxnet and Duqu had same developers, started as early as 2007

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Stuxnet worm may go down in history as one of the first known instances of cyber warfare, since it appears to have been crafted specifically to disrupt Iran’s ambitions to refine weapons-grade uranium. Earlier this year, the related Duqu worm appeared—although it appears to have a different, unknown purpose. Although there has been speculation that Stuxnet and Duqu are related, Kaspersky security researcher Alexander Gostev says the two worms have to have been developed by the same team—and they may have gotten started as early as 2007.

“There were a number of projects involving programs based on the ‘Tilded’ platform throughout the period 2007-2011,” Gostav wrote. “Stuxnet and Duqu are two of them—there could have been others, which for now remain unknown.”

Researches refer to the worm platform as “Tilded” because of the authors’ propensity for starting file names with “~d.” But the similarities are much deeper, with the worms sharing the same fundamental architecture. Through analyzing drivers—including some unusual (and potentially unique) finds associated with Duqu infections—Kaspersky concludes the platform got started as a single-driver effort in 2007 or 2008, and got its most significant modifications in mid-2010. Kaspersky’s analysis also concludes there was “at least” on other spyware module built on the same platform back in 2007 or 2008.

Duqu/Stuxnet evolution
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Stuxnet worm set off a frenzy of speculation amongst security researchers because of its complexity. Where most malware packages together a small set of functions around a small set of exploits so they can get into the wild quickly, Stuxnet contains more than 4,000 functions and functionality specifically targeting industrial control equipment—in fact, Stuxnet is so specific that it likely was crafted only to target Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities. Duqu sports a similar complexity, and researchers at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics CrySyS lab (who discovered Duqu) speculate it is designed to steal industrial control design materials.

Some industry watchers have speculated that Stuxnet and Duqu may be the work of state-sponsored malware development efforts, with Israel and the United States often considered possible sources for the Stuxnet worm.

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
You can use Microsoft Teams to send text messages. Here’s how
Microsoft said that Teams has received a ground-up redesign, which will “empower customers to navigate the challenges of the evolving modern workplace.”

Using Microsoft Teams to talk with your colleagues is pretty simple thanks to the built-in chat feature. You can chat with your teammates, share documents, and even initiate voice calls if and when you need them.

Its initial design focused on communicating between team members, hence the name, however, being able to talk with other businesses or clients can be limited with Microsoft Teams. Now, thanks to a recent update, you can invite people via SMS on Microsoft Teams for free. In fact, you can start an SMS conversation with participants in multiple countries, including Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Great Britain, India, Mexico, and the U.S.
How to send an SMS in Teams
Starting an SMS conversation is really simple:

Read more
The most innovative monitors of 2023
The Samsung Odyssey OLED G9 was the most innovative monitor of 2023.

This year was huge for monitors. In 2023, we saw the first OLED gaming monitors, refresh rates beyond what we could have ever imagined, and unique form factors that enhance productivity and media consumption by a mile.

There's always the old guard on our list of the best monitors if you want a good, reliable display. But these monitors pushed the envelope this year in a way no other displays did.

Read more
The most innovative laptop of 2023
The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i won Digital Trend's Most Innovative Laptop of 2023 award.

Laptops struggled hard in 2023. For the first time in years, we saw a decline in units sold -- and what felt like a general lack of momentum in the space. But that doesn't mean there weren't a few that really got me excited. The three laptops listed below show just how adventurous laptop manufacturers are getting, and my top choice really pushes that to the extreme.

So, while these aren't exactly the best new laptops to come out in 2023 that everyone should go out and buy, they do show off some serious innovation in engineering and design.

Read more