Watch out for Your Outdated PC: Invisible Virus Found by Motherboard Researchers


The invention of the brand new virus exposes a tough reality to face: assaults will be outdated, invisible, and troublesome to resolve.

New malware will get lodged on the motherboard. (Picture: {Hardware} picture created by freepik)

Invisible malware alert

Researchers have made a significant cybersecurity discovery: a rootkit (menace that assaults on the root and takes management of knowledge or gadgets) based mostly on UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface), that implies that it’s housed in a chip immediately on the motherboard.

This one virus has been in use since 2016, inflicting computer systems to stay contaminated indefinitely. Its massive distinction is that it does not contaminate Home windows immediately and superficially.

The goal is the firmware (primary boot program) of a chip, inserted into the motherboard. The title of the virus is ComicStrand. It was discovered on gadgets from manufacturers Asus and gigabyte.

As a result of it’s “glued” to the motherboard and is an middleman between the working system and the components, it turns into harder to establish and proper the threatening code.

The massive drawback is that the “life” of the pc begins there, that’s, it influences the machine’s working system even earlier than the functions are executed.

The motherboard, its elements and firmware are the primary issues activated when turning on the pc. A “pre-operating system” earlier than Home windows itself.

In keeping with Ars TechnicaKaspersky researchers adopted a path of ComicStrand and had been in a position to detect the virus via a scan of its particular software program.

The massive shock is that till just lately, researchers thought that the technical calls for wanted to develop malware UEFI so undetectable, put it past the attain of most cybercriminals.

Calm! Possibly your laptop is secure

Researchers are attributing the creation of this virus to an unknown group of Chinese language-speaking hackers who management “slave” networks for cryptocurrency operations.

The researchers stated in alarm:

“Probably the most spectacular facet of this report is that this UEFI implant seems to have been used within the wild since late 2016 – lengthy earlier than UEFI assaults started to be publicly described.”

And the massive query left by the research is: in the event that they had been utilizing such a sophisticated method in 2016, in a standard means, what’s going to they be utilizing now after six years of technological advances?

That is as a result of ComicStrand was discovered on motherboards with Intel H81 chipset, launched in 2013 and regarded outdated, as we’ve got new applied sciences.

Nevertheless, in case your laptop is newer, chances are you’ll not have the issue of this “scary” malware. Already on older machines, it’s attainable that they could be contaminated indirectly.

ComicStrand can tamper with boot execution and entry some Home windows options on older computer systems.

The purpose is that, if the PC is contaminated, the malware will give entry to delicate knowledge and may also run different viruses on the pc.

The rootkit is a completely open door for every other unknown and presumably malicious exercise.

Kaspersky’s newest analysis describes intimately how the rootkit manages to hijack the boot strategy of contaminated machines. The technical fundamentals attest to the malware’s sophistication.

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