LightEater Malware Capable of Infecting Millions

bios

At CanSecWest security conference, security researchers Corey Kallenberg and Xeno Kovah found that nearly 80% of all computer BIOS could be infected by an implant known as LightEater.

A BIOS that has been left unpatches can be infected with a malware or virus. Manufacturers of motherboards like Acer, Asus, and the like are all at risk, especially if you have left your BIOS outdated.

This attack can be used to steal sensitive information and collect encrypted data. In talking to The Register, security researcher Kopvah explains that the problem increases because many people never update their bios. By exploiting this fact, Kopvah hopes to remedy the problem.

The point is less about how vendors don’t fix the problems, and more how the vendors’ fixes are going un-applied by users, corporations, and governments.

The malware can infect an estimated 80% of computers out there. A Gigabyte BIOS was found to be especially insecure in their research.

[…] we just had a kernel driver write an invalid instruction to the first instruction the CPU reads off the flash chip, and bam, it was out for the count, and never was able to boot again

The researchers are encouraging business and government agencies to update their BIOS to patch out this vulernability.

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