Explore the latest news and trends  

Sign up for our weekly security newsletter

Be the first to receive important updates on security


Stuxnet, the Weaponized Malware

In its news dated January 11, 2011, Xianet.net reports that the computer virus Stuxnet abused 4 zero-day security flaws inflicting Windows software that Microsoft fixed in the aftermath. The "payload," alongside the 0-day assaults, also used an illegitimately acquired digital certificate, which Verisign supplied.

However, the Stuxnet utilized 2 legitimate digital certificates as well that it captured from JMicron and Realtek with which hackers could keep their malware on infected computers for an extended time-period without drawing any notice. The certificates helped in disguising the malware like it was some reliable software while it interacted with other tools.

State the security researchers that the above kind of assault that utilizes digital certificates is reportedly an unprecedented one. Consequently, the development is extremely threatening and worrying. Moreover, the danger associated with the threat, according to the researchers, has gone beyond damaging an organization's good name, as attackers have been using the certificate despite its expiry, causing tangible destruction to the organization as well as its workforce in case the worm effectively rendered a utility alternatively manufacturing process vulnerable.

Conventionally, when a facility used to be damaged, the approach adopted was utilizing any traditional weapon. But in the case of Stuxnet, it surprisingly tries to technically destroy a facility devoid of itself applying the damaging force, that is, it's a malicious program that's created, particularly, to serve as a weapon. Consequently, it's categorized as "weaponized malicious software."

And with malware such as the Stuxnet exploiting 4 zero-day flaws along with captured digital certificates, a fresh age characterized with cyber-crime and cyber warfare seems to have started. But, the happening of this variant isn't the lone one. For, Aurora, another computer virus, was an edition of the first-generation type, while Stuxnet stands for an evolutionary jump of considerable nature in terms of sophistication and complexity. Besides, the potential expenses an infected organization incurs due to a successful Stuxnet assault are high like never before.

The worm reportedly, spreads of its own and to numerous systems. Furthermore, it doesn't have any connection with a C&C host since it's a separated network and that makes its development significant.

Related article: Stuxnet malware Signed With JMicron Certificate

» SPAMfighter News - 1/20/2011

3 simple steps to update drivers on your Windows PCSlow PC? Optimize your Slow PC with SLOW-PCfighter!Email Cluttered with Spam? Free Spam Filter!

Dear Reader

We are happy to see you are reading our IT Security News.

We do believe, that the foundation for a good work environment starts with fast, secure and high performing computers. If you agree, then you should take a look at our Business Solutions to Spam Filter & Antivirus for even the latest version of Exchange Servers - your colleagues will appreciate it!

Go back to previous page