|18 Feb 2014||#1|
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Kaspersky Lab Confirms Hidden Threat in BIOSes of Popular Laptops...
Kaspersky Lab Confirms Hidden Threat in BIOSes of Popular Laptops and Warns That Absolute Computrace Anti-Theft Software Can Be Remotely Hijacked
Kaspersky Lab’s security research team published today a report confirming and demonstrating that the weak implementation of anti-theft software marketed by Absolute Software can turn a useful defensive utility into a powerful utility for cyberattackers.
In a stealthy way, this poor implementation gives attackers full access to millions of users' computers. The focus of the research was the Absolute Computrace agent that resides in the firmware, or PC ROM BIOS, of modern laptops and desktops.
The major reason for this research project was the discovery of the Computrace agent running on several private computers of Kaspersky Lab’s researchers and corporate computers without prior authorization. While Computrace is a legitimate product developed by Absolute Software, some owners of the systems claimed that they had never installed, activated or had ever known about this software on their machines. Most traditional pre-installed software packages can be permanently removed or disabled by the user; however Computrace is designed to survive professional system cleanup and even hard disk replacement.
A user can mistakenly recognize Computrace as malicious software because it uses so many tricks popular in modern malware: anti-debugging and anti-reverse engineering techniques, injection into memory of other processes, establishment of secret communications, patching system files on disk, keeping configuration files encrypted, and dropping a Windows executable right from the BIOS/firmware.
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