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Vulnerabilities / Threats

11/4/2011
01:03 PM
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Product Watch: New Free Duqu Scanner Released

NSS Labs offers open-source tool for finding new Duqu drivers

NSS Labs has built a new, free tool that detects known and newly created Duqu drivers that have infiltrated systems.

The scanner is aimed at researchers in search of additional Duqu drivers beyond those that so far have been discovered. "This tool was developed in the hopes that additional drivers can be discovered to allow us to learn more about the functionality, capabilities, and ultimate purpose of DuQu," according to NSS Labs researchers Mohamed Saher and Matthew Molinyawe.

Saher and Molinyawe say the tool, which employs pattern-recognition techniques, can find all drivers with zero false-positives. "Two new drivers were discovered after the tool was completed, and both were detected by the NSS tool with no updates required," they said in a blog post.

NSS Labs is asking researchers who find new drivers with the tool share with them any samples so they can further study Duqu. "NSS will make available our own IDA Pro databases and complete reversed code for DuQu to bona fide researchers who wish to perform their own analysis of the code, scripts and dropped files," they said.

Meanwhile, NSS Labs has drawn some conclusions of its own about Duqu. Saher and Molinyawe say the Duqu infrastructure is still up and running despite recent server takedowns, and that the threat represents the first "known modular plug-in rootkit."

They say its strong driver code and fault-tolerant and modular architecture indicate it was written by "a disciplined, well-funded team of competent coders. "Many researchers are claiming definitively that the DuQu authors had access to the original Stuxnet source code. This has not been proved. It is possible for anyone to reverse-engineer the original Stuxnet code to the point where it can be modified and recompiled," they contend.

And still unknown is the ultimate attack itself. "Given that there are additional drivers waiting to be discovered, we can liken DuQu to a sophisticated rocket launcher -- we have yet to see the real ammunition appear," they said. And what has been seen thus far is just the first stage in a multistage attack.

"We have not heard the last of DuQu," they said in their post, which includes a link to download their open-source scanner tool.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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