Researchers believe that many of these recent attacks are connected, whether through code re-use, similar targets or other factors, and think that several of them may have been the work of the same team, or at least related groups. Each of the tools seemed to have a different purpose, with Stuxnet targeting a uranium-enrichment facility in Iran, for example, and Gauss being used to monitor financial transactions in specific banks.
And while much has been learned about the attackers' methods and their target base, researchers say that there may well be pieces of the attack tools that are yet unknown and are still in operation right now.
"There could be a Flame module deployed years ago with the same functionality as Stuxnet," Roel Schouwenberg, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said in a talk at the Cyber Security for the Next Generation conference at NYU-Poly here Friday. "We may never know.""
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