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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: 4, Interesting) by canopic jug on Saturday September 29 2018, @05:32AM

    by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 29 2018, @05:32AM (#741717) Journal

    It seems that maybe Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco covered something somewhat similar, but for BIOS instead, at Blackhat 2009 in their talk, Deactivate the Rootkit: Attacks on BIOS anti-theft technologies [] (warning: PDF). They refer to BIOS not UEFI, but they did their work well after the UEFI specification was released and only a few years before vendors shoehorned UEFI into their products. Joanna Rutkowska's work is also somewhat related but seems to concentrate more on the weaknesses with the extra OS running inside the CPU itself. This whole UEFI mess originates from M$ pushing, if not for UEFI itself then for bending the functional requirements until they provide a broken system just to make it harder to boot LInux. Their jihad against Free and Open Source Software is increasing the vulnerability of even the hardware itself.

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