Kaspersky said on the company’s website that the virus is related to several others that have cropped up in the Middle East: Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu, all of which are cyberweapons. Stuxnet was originally designed to attack Iran’s nuclear program.
According to Kaspersky, Gauss began operation roughly in September of 2011 and was first detected in June. The estimated number of computers infected with the virus is probably in the tens of thousands, which is lower than the number of computers infected by Stuxnet, but significantly higher than the number of computers infected by Flame and Duqu. The highest number of infections appear to be in Lebanon.
The virus’s command and control servers were shut down quickly after the virus’s discovery.