The Duqu Virus, which was discovered in computers around the world two months ago, may be a more serious threat to data security than previously thought. Computer scientists at the Kaspersky Lab in Moscow revealed yesterday that the way the virus went about attacking individual computers was much more complicated than it had been considered to be the case when it was first discovered. According to their findings, each of the eight concentrated attacks against the computer infrastructure of large companies around the world had been uniquely designed. All of the attacks included variations of fake email messages and Word documents, which, if opened, would trigger the virus via unique fonts that had been purposefully embedded in the documents by the creators of the virus. These modifications would take place immediately before an attack was to be launched and have proven difficult to detect. This kind of sophistication was not recognized during the initial examinations of the virus. According to a report published by the scientists and quoted in publications such as Computerworld and PC World, the creators of Duqu spent a number of years creating the virus. Traces of data sources going back to 2007 and 2008 are seen as evidence for that Microsoft has confirmed that Duqu takes advantage of a deficiency within one of its model drivers, which allows the virus to temporarily gain access to a PC. Then, once opened, the virus installs itself automatically. The firm has not been able to fix this problem so far and is calling on users (especially IT professionals at large companies) to protect themselves by disabling certain font features. More information on this can be found on the technical support section of Microsoft’s website.
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