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UEFI/BIOS Malware


steveyeu

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Doing some research and trying to understand how likely a laptop having some form of UEFI malware or virus is? Is this common?

Generally what would need to happen for such an infection to occur? Would an OS level infection first be required to tamper with the firmware?

If a device were to have such an infection and the BIOS were flashed from a USB created on a known clean system from the boot menu (not within the OS) would this generally clear such an infection? (Provided the OS is also cleaned).

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  • Root Admin

Yes, it is within the realm of possibility but there have been only a couple systems found and reported to possibly be in the public realm.

When you consider there are over 4 Billion devices out there then it's just not very realistic to believe your computer was some how targeted with a Nation State level tool that cost potentially hundreds of thousands to develop and they're going to use it on your system for no return on investment. It just doesn't make a lot of sense at least at this time, but who knows in the future but my guess is the industry will ensure that it never gets wide spread.

 

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  • Root Admin

It is a highly advanced and sophisticated process. Some of the Black Hat conferences discuss it in detail.

But don't forget that it also has to be a remote attack and not show the user any signs that the infection has taken place.

In the examples provided they are not silent as they were performed in labs on specific computers

What works on one computer may or may not work on the next. Thus this level of time and effort is normally associated with some group that is attempting to gain some significant return on investment. Typically Ransomware is the most common method of obtaining ROI as it is relatively cheap and easy to obtain code to do it.

 

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