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Kaspersky Lab Says It Has Found Another State-Sponsored Computer Virus

Decrypted configuration data.
Decrypted configuration data.

Kaspersky Lab made another big announcement this morning: It has found another nation-state sponsored virus it is calling Gauss.

What makes this different than Stuxnet or Flame, which they discovered in May, this is the first "publicly known nation-state sponsored banking Trojan."

In a long explanation, Kaspersky said that by looking at virus it had determined it was related to Flame and Stuxnet.

"Code references and encryption subroutines, together with the Command and Control infrastructure make us believe Gauss was created by the same 'factory' which produced Flame," they said. "This indicates it is most likely a nation-state sponsored operation."

Reuters explains:

"The Moscow-based firm said it found Gauss had infected personal computers in Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. It declined to speculate on who was behind the virus but said it was related to Stuxnet and two other cyber espionage tools, Flame and Duqu. ...

"Kaspersky Lab's findings are likely to fuel a growing international debate over the development and use of cyber weapons. Those discussions were stirred up by the discovery of Flame in May by Kaspersky and others. Washington has declined comment on whether it was behind Stuxnet."

As we've told you before, Kapersky discovered Flame in May. Shortly thereafter, The Washington Post reported that Flame was created by the U.S. and Israel. According to a New York Times piece, Stuxnet was also the work of the United States.

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