The Stuxnet virus was likely to be one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform.
According to Kaspersky Lab director of global research and analysis Costin Raiu, evidence shows that the same platform that was used to build Stuxnet and Duqu was also used to create at least three other pieces of malware.
Speaking to Reuters, Raiu said that the platform is comprised of a group of compatible software modules designed to fit together, each with different functions. Its developers can build new cyber weapons by simply adding and removing modules.
Kaspersky named the platform ‘Tilded' and said it has not found any new types of malware built on it, but it is sure they exist because shared components of Stuxnet and Duqu appear to be searching for their kin.
”It would be relatively easy for the developers of highly sophisticated viruses to create other weapons that can evade detection by those anti-virus programs by the modules in the Tilded platform,” Raiu said.
Raiu added that when a machine becomes infected with Duqu or Stuxnet, the shared components on the platform search for two unique registry keys on the PC linked to Duqu and Stuxnet, which are then used to load the main piece of malware onto the computer. “It's like a Lego set. You can assemble the components into anything: a robot or a house or a tank," he said.
Kaspersky said it recently discovered new shared components that search for at least three other unique registry keys, which suggests that the developers of Stuxnet and Duqu also built at least three other pieces of malware using the same platform.
Those modules handle tasks including delivering the malware to a PC, installing it, communicating with its operators, stealing data and self-replication.