Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a software that is stored on a non-volatile ROM chip on the motherboard and BIOS is the first code run by a PC when powered on.

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Is it possible for malware to be in the BIOS or in hardware?

Is it possible for malware to be written in the BIOS section and loaded on every fresh Windows Install? If it is possible, can this affect Linux (Ubuntu and others) operating systems as well?
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Does malware which infects the BIOS/ Firmware always need 'root' access to do so?

There are very few hardend Operating Systems who restrict or totally disable Terminal 'root' access for the user. (1) Would this feature prevent persistant BIOS rootkits from writing into BIOS or ...