Duqu, a name that we are reading since several months and with whom we have called a malware that scares the scientific community for some features we will shortly describe. I wrote a lot in this blog about Duqu and on more than one occasion we have raised doubts about the genesis of the agent.
Of course, we have established a relationship with the nefarious Stuxnet, a true example of cyber weapon with which they were infected control systems of nuclear power plants in Iran. As previously stated Duqu has some interesting features such as:
According to Kaspersky, the carrier platform of Stuxnet could be reused, for example with a different attack module. But, unlike Stuxnet, DuQu can also be reconfigured remotely to install new malware payloads and to direct attacks at new targets.
The attack module of DuQu, found together with the detected samples was a general purpose keylogger (enriched with some additional spying capabilities) able to perform a reconnaissance in any organisation. However, according to Symantec, the aim of DuQu is to infiltrate organisations operating in industrial environments. This conclusion is based on the fact that the majority of the detected threats were found in industrial infrastructures, and because of the connection to Stuxnet code. Unlike Stuxnet, DuQu is an intelligence gathering tool, apparently aiming to prepare the ground for attacks such as Stuxnet. It should be emphasised, however, that there is no direct evidence for the intentions behind DuQu
But if Duque has no components to attack SCADA systems or similar, why create in us so much worry?
Mainly for two reasons:
Just this morning I posted an interesting article where I have also discussed of a description of actual scenario made by the ENISA (European Network Information Security Agency). It reveals that Europe’s critical infrastructures are still not sufficiently prepared for attacks like DuQu. “In particular, Europe lacks specific initiatives and policies to address ICS security. There are no commonly adopted ICS security standards, guidelines or regulations, corporate management is not sufficiently involved, and there are numerous technical vulnerabilities.”
The ENISA (European Network Information Security Agency) has finally produced recommendations for Europe and the Member States on how to protect Industrial Control Systems.
But how much it will cost to implement the necessary measures in defense of our systems?
It has been calculated by Pike Research report that to bolster security for industrial control systems networks will total as much as $14.0 billion between 2011 and 2018
The date reported are staggering and are proof of how offensive is the threat made by Duqu. But a few thoughts I think are dutiful in conclusion of this post:
this is only a battle of a long war.
(Security Affairs – Duqu, Cyber weapon)