The company ESET, based in Slovakia, has announced finding the first-ever UEFI rootkit in the wild. Once infected with the malware the only option is to reflash the SPI firmware or else replace the whole motherboard.
First spotted in early 2017, LoJax is a trojaned version of a popular legitimate LoJack laptop anti-theft software from Absolute Software, which installs its agent into the system's BIOS to survive OS re-installation or drive replacement and notifies device owner of its location in case the laptop gets stolen.
According to researchers, the hackers slightly modified the LoJack software to gain its ability to overwrite UEFI module and changed the background process that communicates with Absolute Software's server to report to Fancy Bear's C&C servers.
UEFI is an overly complex replacement for BIOS, and is often conflated with one of its payloads, Restricted Boot aka Secure Boot.
(Score: 2, Informative) by TheFool on Friday September 28 2018, @08:14PM (2 children)
It does add some quality-of-life things for hardware vendors or firmware-facing OS people. But, yes, it's probably not worth the complexity.
(Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @09:21AM (1 child)
I repaired about 10 UEFI mainboards which had the same problem: Part of flash code literally "eaten out". And all time it was made by unplugging a running PC, just running, not updating anything. No idea why computer had to write something into flash during normal operation, but it looks really bad.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:01PM
What do you mean?
When I found out that Windows could now write to the BIOS I was horrified. Why would you want the OS to be able to have that level of control?
What could possibly go wrong?