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Intel analysis of Hacking Team UEFI malware

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UPDATE: IntelSecurity.com web site has changed, the ATR blog URL is broken. Updated URL:
http://www.intelsecurity.com/advanced-threat-research/ht_uefi_rootkit.html_7142015.html
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A quick follow-up to the Hacking Team UEFI malware story. There’s been a lot of mainstream coverage on this news. I just found out about this blog entry by the Intel Advanced Threat Research (ATR) team:

http://www.intelsecurity.com/advanced-threat-research/blog.html

It’s analysis of the malware is excellent, and worth reading. Unlike other news stories on Hacking Team, this blog shows you how to check if your system is infected. They used CHIPSEC[1] and UEFItool[2] to analyse this malware, two excellent tools for UEFI forensic analysis. Study this Intel blog post for a very topical example of how to use CHIPSEC to protect your system from bootkits.

[1] https://firmwaresecurity.com/2015/06/10/chipsec-v1-2-0-released/
https://github.com/chipsec/chipsec
[2] https://firmwaresecurity.com/2015/05/25/tool-mini-review-uefitool/
https://github.com/LongSoft/UEFITool

Hacking Tool should remind people that they don’t have a clue what modules are burned into their firmware. Many firmware solutions target enterprise sales, so they’re happy to have phone-home style technology in their systems, to track their assets. Malware authors can take advantage of these remote control features, like Hacking Team is doing. Windows OEMs generally screw up Windows with various bloatware; unlike with OS software, you cannot undo firmware bloatware, the OEM won’t permit you to rebuilt the firmware image (unless you have a Tunnel Mountain or MinnowBoard), and the OEM doesn’t provide standalone UEFI drivers/services so that you could rebuilt your firmware from coreboot.org and/or tianocore.org plus the delta of blobs (OEM/IHV drivers). Then, we could focus on reliability of the open source codebase and the handful of closed-source firmware drivers, instead of relying on the IBV/OEM to give us black-box fimware updates when they feel like it. OEMs: give us better firmware options!

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