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posted by chromas on Friday September 28 2018, @07:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the false-flag-to-justify-forced-secureboot dept.

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.


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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Friday September 28 2018, @10:35PM (6 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 28 2018, @10:35PM (#741576)

    So... does this exploit work if the UEFI is configured in "secure boot" mode?

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  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday September 28 2018, @11:00PM (5 children)

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 28 2018, @11:00PM (#741586)

    Nope : )
    "Since UEFI rootkit is not properly signed, users can protect themselves against LoJax infection by enabling the Secure Boot mechanism, which makes sure that each and every component loaded by the system firmware is properly signed with a valid certificate."

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    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:46AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:46AM (#741627)

      A signature that could probably be obtained by $TLA government org with an NSL to silence the vendor. So yes, only ‘bad guys’ with power.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:49AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:49AM (#741657)

        Careful, you're not as anonymous as you might think.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29 2018, @02:37PM (#741799)

          Sure I am.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Saturday September 29 2018, @03:02AM

      by Whoever (4524) on Saturday September 29 2018, @03:02AM (#741660) Journal

      Celebrations taking place in Redmond!

      More reasons to prevent users from disabling secure boot, leading to more problems installing Linux.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by TheFool on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:13PM

      by TheFool (7105) on Saturday September 29 2018, @12:13PM (#741765)

      Nefarious side-goals aside, this is the reason that they give on paper for secure boot. BIOS security was non-existent, so the OS had to do it - and to get to that point, you had to get pretty far into the boot process. In UEFI, everyone calls a firmware provided "please check the signature" function on the files (and it's files now, not reading blocks from disk and jumping to them) as you read them in. Much easier for the underpaid, oversees devs to maintain and understand.

      The real shame is that they didn't make key management required if you support secure boot. That would have solved the whole Linux problem, and personally I think it would be cool to sign my own grub while deleting M$'s keys entirely.