Are there any known instances of malware persisting past a drive wipe and reinstall, through modified bios, or firmware on one of the machine components?

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    Sorry, I'm too knackered to write a proper answer (4:30am here LOL) so a comment with a link to an IMO interesting article will have to do for the time being. It's about a Black Hat 2012 presentation by Jonathan Brossard, and includes some additional links and a complete 70 slides long Def Con 20 presentation. A small antipasto before someone drops a proper answer. Cheers! ;) – TildalWave May 26 '13 at 2:32
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    Yes. – Adi May 26 '13 at 6:09
  • Actually, I'm rather curious whether it makes sense to make such malware - both for APTs and kiddies. Even as a way to inflict financial losses it may be not really successful. – Deer Hunter May 26 '13 at 8:21

Yes, there are at least several instances of lab based malware which is capable of infecting firmware and BIOS and at least one rootkit in the wild (Mebromi as Adnan pointed out in his comment.) They are still pretty rare, but they do exist.

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