Is there a way to check most flashable components such as Ethernet card, UEFI, Bluetooth & WiFi card, DVD driver, USB port for firmware integrity? Of course I'm not talking about using software from the compromised host since if it was compromised it'd be pointless.

I'm probably being extremely paranoid but anyway; I'm worried about malware that attacks all of your components' firmware and spreads it through any writable media on the host (e.g. infected DVD drive --> infected disks, same with USB, SD card reader etc.) and therefore survives reformatting . Now, I know it would be very hard for this to be not a state actor's work and I'm not a high-profile target for most goverments, but the truth is I have visited and frequented some "bad" websites on the clearnet about 3 years ago. Nothing illegal though, just think of a website with user base similar to low-quality 4chan boards, but with user accounts.

I might've clicked something from there in the past when I was running Windows 7 on my MacBook Air but I really can't remember if it was a malicious file or not. Of course I have formatted my HDD and now running only OS X and haven't visited any suspicious website but I'm still concerned about a potential advanced & persistent infection to my entire system.

Are the fears consistent with my threat model? Unpopular thing to say but I don't worry so much about being a victim of mass surveillance (which probably most of us inevitably are), however I wouldn't like any shitty troll I once encountered taking control over my entire system and anything else connected to it. This could probably be much ado about nothing, but still.

  • If you are highly concerned get a new system from a trusted source. On another note... generally if a malicious program inserts persistence mechanisms sufficient to survive a reimage for your situation to be worrisome it would also have to survive an OS change.
    – DarkMatter
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 19:42
  • You're afraid of some random "sh* troll you once encountered" but at the same time you acnowledge that such a sophisticated malware usually is something only state actors etc. have. => You just told yourself that you don't need to be afraid.
    – deviantfan
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 20:17
  • Nothing is going to "spread" through firmware. That's not something to worry about.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 3:16
  • @forest Can't the macbook's USB 3.0 Hub firmware be updated through the OS? same goes for the superdrive etc? If that's true, couldn't the firmware be modified to make the hub/drive infect every USB stick/CD inserted? This is a similar question, concerning the capability of badUSB infecting the internal hub's chip.
    – ii291jaks9
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 2:57
  • @ii291jaks9 While it's theoretically possible in certain specific circumstances, it's not going to happen. People who can write highly persistent malware do not want it to spread. They actually want it to do as little as is possible to maintain persistence.
    – forest
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 3:01


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