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Unknown Computer Language Found in Trojan

Category: Bugs / Virus
Posted: 10:48AM

Some of you may recall from the past two years news about some malware that had apparently targeted Iranian nuclear enrichment centers. The Stuxnet worm destroyed 400 centrifuges, which are critical to enriching uranium, and later the Duqu trojan was found. Duqu’s purpose is not yet known as it has not been activated yet, but it could potentially steal, corrupt, or run certain files.

While analyzing the code, security researchers at Kaspersky Labs have found some mysterious code. It does not conform to any programming language the researchers have compared it to, such as C++, Objective C, Java, Python, Ada, and Lua. Some crowd-source suggestions are that the language is related to LISP, a programming language for AI, or a version of C++ for old IBM systems.

Needless to say, this use of an unknown programming language has security analysts concerned. If more malware starts using unique languages like this, it will become much harder to dissect them and discover their origins. As it is, no one is sure about where either Stuxnet or Duqu came from, though many believe they are related and were even made by the US National Security Agency or the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency. However, Stuxnet had no unusual code like this, so perhaps the two pieces of malware are not related.

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Comp Dude2 on March 12, 2012 12:20PM
So how does a platform execute code of unknown language?
BillyBuerger on March 12, 2012 03:01PM
Executable code is always in a binary format no matter what programming language it was compiled from. But every compiler has it's ways of doing things that they can probably look for and tell. I'm guessing it's saying that the signature of the binary files doesn't match any known programming language.

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