Major Security Firms Detect New Trojan Capable Of Disrupting Power Plants, Oil Refineries and Other Critical Infrastructure Networks
October 19th, 2011
In our October 7, 2011 report There Have Been Intrusions, we noted that DHS Undersecretary Greg Shaffer warned that hackers and foreign governments are “knocking on the backdoor” of the networked systems which connect everything from infrastructure grid control systems to financial networks.
It now appears that our interconnected smart grid is actively under attack, as evidenced by a new Stuxnet-style trojan that has been detected by major cyber security leaders Symantec and McAfee. Much like its predecessor, the trojan dubbed “Duqu” is designed to infilitrate the networks that control everything from power production facilities to oil refineries. It is not yet clear exactly how the trojan operates, what its intended purpose is, or who designed it (though it is believed that the code for Duqu and Stuxnet likely originated with U.S. intelligence agencies). Both Symantec and McAfee continue to investigate the threat:
Security researchers have detected a new Trojan, scarily similar to the infamous Stuxnet worm, which could disrupt computers controlling power plants, oil refineries and other critical infrastructure networks.
The Trojan, dubbed “Duqu” by the security firm Symantec, appears, based on its code, to have been written by the same authors as the Stuxnet worm, which last July was used to cripple an Iranian nuclear-fuel processing plant.
“Duqu shares a great deal of code with Stuxnet; however, the payload is completely different,” researchers for the security firm Symantec wrote on its Security Response blog.
Instead of directly targeting the SCADA system, Duqu gathers “intelligence data and assets from entities, such as industrial control system manufacturers, in order to more easily conduct a future attack against another third party. The attackers are looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility.”
“Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet-like attack,” the researchers added.
Source: Fox News