If your computer has been hacked or infected, is there a way of cleaning your computer and have 100% sure that it's clean?

I heard that you can safely clean your hard-drive with completely wiping tools, such as:Dban,but,today we have other types of virus like bios virus

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    I have heard that computers can be purified by fire... But aside from that, not really. – KnightOfNi Feb 1 '14 at 3:33

Technically it is impossible short of verifying every circuit path, bit of storage/memory and piece of data on your computer.

You have to practically start your trust some where. Computers are incredibly complex devices and there are simply too many possible attack vectors.

For the majority of attacks, formatting the hard drives and doing a clean install is sufficient, however there are demonstrated attacks that can compromise systems permanently or infect software you build yourself through hardware or compiler level exploits.

If you expect you are targeted, you're best bet is to source hardware from someplace you trust and be very careful what you install. If you just want to be safe from general threats, avoid questionable content, patch your system regularly and keep virus scanner up to date to minimize risk of an infection after you rebuild.

  • linux is really safe? installing in my infected machine could be safier? – lucas Feb 1 '14 at 20:36

I haven't heard about mainstream malware, that infects firmware in any way.
So if we assume there's no attack on you personally, it should be enough to wipe the harddisk and install an OS from a source you can trust. The same for the software and drivers you will install.

If the attack is personally on you, there are many ways like firmware hiding the boot sector to the os which will run a rootkit, rf senders hidden on your board, uefi rootkit... the list is long.

  • I have to agree with this even after the updated question. There is no way to be 100% certain you are not infected. If you DO believe you have been infected, then a clean reinstallation of the OS is the next obvious step but no guarantees can be made. – David Houde Feb 1 '14 at 6:47
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    There have been firmware viruses in the wild since at least 2011. The chances are still pretty slim, but it is possible. – AJ Henderson Feb 1 '14 at 7:00

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