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Duqu is a malicious computer virus that is designed to gather intelligence data from entities such as industrial control manufacturers in order to be able to launch a future attack on an industrial control facility. Internet security specialists uncovered Duqu in October 2011, declaring that its code was nearly identical to that of an earlier computer worm called Stuxnet, which targeted five Iranian organizations, including a uranium enrichment operation in June 2010.
Although Duqu is not considered a threat to ordinary computer users' systems, it is a serious concern because it is believed to signal a shift toward cyberwarfare among nations.
Duqu may also be known as Stuxnet Jr.
Duqu gets its name from the "DQ" prefixes it attaches to the files it creates. The virus uses keystroke logging and data mining to steal data such as passwords or credentials, which allow Duqu hackers to access systems without being detected. The virus uses command and control computers to pass information to its creators, allowing them to seize control of an organization's systems and thus launch an attack by taking control of factory machinery.
Duqu's predecessor, Stuxnet, was designed to attack industrial infrastructure such as water supplies, oil rigs and power plants. The New York Times reported in January 2011 that is was designed by Israeli intelligence services.
Duqu is mostly centered on organizations in the Middle East, India, Africa and Eastern Europe.