Questions tagged [firmware]

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How is the authenticity and integrity of the various chips inside laptops and mobile phones ensured by their vendors?

Modern laptops and mobile phone platforms are built around a main, beefy SoC, which generally supports Secure Boot for its firmware and also has a unique hardware identity that is used to attest to a ...
Silviu's user avatar
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Dump All Images Possible On a Laptop Motherboard [migrated]

In relation to another question I wanted to ask, supposing I pulled the drives from a laptop, and the GPU/CPU/TPM/RAM are soldered on the mother board (along with lots of other random chips). What ...
SurferTaco's user avatar
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How many parts of an average laptop can be compromised? and how to confirm they are not?

The majority of virus/malware is stored and persists on the hard drive, Therefore by formatting the hard drive or re-installing the operating system, the virus is removed. However, the average laptop ...
Marshall's user avatar
1 vote
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Gmail app on Android can't send messages since months

I've got the issue that the Gmail app on Android (OnePlus One device) is unable to send messages (it stays in Outbox instead of Sent). Once in the past, I've solved this by clearing the Gmail app ...
nusch's user avatar
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Risk of spyware with proprietary firmware packages on Linux, even after removing them?

When I installed Debian 12 LXQt ISO with the graphical install, it installed many proprietary firmware packages that were not needed and without my consent. Is it possible that proprietary firmware ...
baptx's user avatar
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Secure Boot: Can Firmware verify every component?

As far as I've seen, the Secure Boot process is described like so: A firmware stored in read-only memory and therefore considered secure starts. It verifies the next software component (e.g. a ...
arkountos's user avatar
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Different types of USB charger attacks that work on Android phones

I'm wondering about different types of malicious USB charger attacks that work on Android devices when USB debugging option is disabled and if the USB option is set to "charge only". I'm not ...
Kurusakibill074's user avatar
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194 views

What is the current risk regarding hyper-threading?

We are around four years after ZombieLoad. We had multiple Microcode and OS mitigation patches. Is enabling hyper-threading still bad practice if firmware, microcode and OS patches for your system are ...
Jodka Lemon's user avatar
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1 answer
120 views

Can rootkit spread through ATA interface?

I have connected a hard disk containing bootable Windows to a system confirmed to have a rootkit and attached that disk to a couple of other systems through SATA. I'm wondering (It's kind of been ...
Shimla's user avatar
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How safe is sharing keyboard & mouse between work laptop & my personal laptop

What I need to know is if my work laptop (remotely managed by Org) installs or tags some hidden software on any devices being plugged in to the USB (obvious security hardening on their own part) which ...
Shubham Deshmukh's user avatar
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162 views

How do you detect attacks on Intel ME firmware and the AMD equivalent?

Since there are quite a few exploits of Intel ME firmware in the CPU (same applies to AMD), I would like to know what SIEM solutions are there for detecting these kinds of attacks. To be more exact, I ...
Sir Muffington's user avatar
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How to tell if a mouse/keyboard doesn't have on-board memory?

How to tell if a mouse/keyboard doesn't have accessible on-board memory? I know if it has: there are tells like custom macro buttons for example, and I was told by A4tech support: if a mouse doesn't ...
empleat's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

Could the USB-Receiver of a wireless mouse/keyboard be a security risk?

I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse from a no-name brand (made in China) with a USB receiver. I'm currently wondering if the USB receiver could be compromised in a way, that my computer could get ...
CherryBlossom1878's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
213 views

For someone who deals with dangerous files and websites frequently what is the way to avoid getting infected by spyware/virus permanently?

For someone who deals with dangerous files and websites frequently or even for the general user what is the way to avoid getting infected by spyware/virus permanently? I am looking to buy a new laptop ...
User4857's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
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Should I worry about compromised firmware when reinstalling an OS?

I have a machine that I suspect to be compromised and am installing a new OS from a usb. I know that there have been cases of malware surviving this, and even BIOS-reflashing, and something about the ...
CoolName's user avatar
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Is Mac OS safer to use as far as firmware rootkits, cold boot attacks and evil maid?

Windows machines have things like TPM and Secure boot to help protect against firmware rootkits, but is Mac any safer in these regards? How does Mac work in the boot stage and is it any less ...
Rideboards's user avatar
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Running Tails from a non-writable CD vs a USB on a PC with a UEFI infection. Would it comprimise Tails OS when loaded?

Lets say a computers UEFI is infected with a rootkit and you have a copy of Tails written to a USB drive. I am guessing it could possibly infect the Tails OS as well. Well if you were to write tails ...
Rideboards's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
705 views

Has there ever seen a recorded case of a M.2 infected SSD firmware?

Was there ever been out-in-the-wild or any kind of detected firmware rootkit in an M.2 SSD?
Sir Muffington's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
212 views

What firmware components of a PC are writeable?

What firmware components of a PC are writable? For instance which components have the ability to store rootkits or viruses?
Rideboards's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
393 views

How to protect yourself from firmware viruses

What componets of a PC do firmware viruses and rootkits infect? Secure boot is supposed to protect you from these types of viruses. Although, it doesn't protect you against rootkits in UEFI firmware ...
Rideboards's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do mechanical keyboards only have non-modifiable firmware baked in?

I always used to use a mechanical keyboard to type. Recently, I found a hardware trojan in my keyboard's firmware. Can mechanical keyboard firmware be modified?
kittygirl's user avatar
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How did the PSP firmware 5.03 HEN-C exploit work?

On the historical PSP (PlayStation Portable) console on firmware version 5.03 there used to be a thumbnail-based exploit called HEN-C. It worked (under a race condition I presume since it didn't work ...
Sir Muffington's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
123 views

Do Hardware Manufacturers Control PC's Remotely? [closed]

I'm struggling to wrap my head around the following thing: I have a video adapter (NVidia). It was bought new about a year ago and had the newest video drivers at the time I disabled all the NVidia ...
Alma Do's user avatar
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Are modern CPUs or SOCs stateless?

According to this older post: https://security.stackexchange.com/a/174968/271114 Intel processors are stateless. Nowadays a "CPU" is often a SOC integrating neural engines, GPUs, ...
halp's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
361 views

How to mitigate the impact of a malicious monitor or display?

Consider someone has updated the firmware of you PC monitor, notebook or smart device display. What capabilities does the attacker now have? Could he reinfect your device or some other device where ...
32Inch's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it safe to clone Tails to a used USB?

If one has a USB stick, originally from a trusted source and without hacked firmware, but one has used this USB stick with an unsafe system, then can it safely be plugged it into a Tails OS system and ...
hsjpB's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
330 views

Will secure boot prevent any non signed firmware from running?

Wonder if secure boot can protect my computer from usb drives with infected firmware after Debian os is booted ?
Rey's user avatar
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2 answers
729 views

How common are firmware infections?

Hard drive firmware infections were documented in 2015: The hacking tool, believed to be a product of the NSA, is significant because subverting the firmware gives the attackers God-like control of ...
MWB's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
322 views

If I buy any FIPS 140 certified USB flash drive can I be sure that it's firmware is signed?

Does either FIPS 140-2 or FIPS 140-3 certification require USB flash drive's firmware to be signed so that malicious computer cannot overwrite flash drive's firmware? e.g. badusb attack. If I buy any ...
user264191's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
587 views

Since TPM firmware is updatable can it be exploited by malicious hardware actors?

I have been reading about TPM for months and one thing seems to be odd. I noticed that TPM firmware can be updated in certain brands. Like "Lenovo" or this link which links a bunch of brands....
JackBixuis's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
164 views

How to Prevent Copying of Device Source Code in Manufacturing

Suppose you are going to mass manufacture custom circuit boards and would like the manufacturer to upload the device firmware onto these boards before shipping them out. What are some security systems/...
Marzden's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
441 views

How secure is Heads for detecting tampering or infection of firmware or boot sector? (Pureboot)

I'm thinking of getting a Librem laptop with Pureboot which uses Heads (with the Librem key) for tamper detection. But I've heard rumours that there are weaknesses or vulnerabilities so I wanted to ...
yannis's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
551 views

Is there any way to validate the firmware in a USB flash drive?

I bought a pair of USB flash drives made by Huawei and I want to know if there are any tools in existence for verifying that the firmware on these drives is secure. I bought them for researching this ...
Phillip H. Blanton's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
671 views

Can a driver(malware) hide it self from device manager?

For security reasons, I have this question in mind. I am not a security professional, so I want to ask: Let's suppose my computer's firmware is hacked. If I disable the wifi driver on windows, can a ...
Bob's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the dangers of a firmware malware in 2021 and is it possible?

I was reading a few articles online about how some firmware can be altered into malware and essentially infect a hardware equipment for its entire life time. Like almost all SSDs in the industry ...
JackBixuis's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
162 views

Can I prevent thieves from unlocking Android's bootloader? [duplicate]

I know that anything can be exploited. But let's say I want to prevent thieves that do not have access to not openly available exploits, to reset my phone so he can sell. If no openly available ...
Gatonito's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
260 views

Is it easy to create persistent programs that run before Android's boot? (in firmware maybe)

I've been wondering about which level of trust I can apply to a used phone bought from someone else. I can easily unlock the bootloader and flash a brand new Android. However, what about firmware ...
Paprika's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
363 views

Is it safe to download BIOS firmware from any place online?

Considering that all modern motherboards have code signature procedures in place like it is mentioned here: Is it possible for malware to be in the BIOS or in hardware? I was wondering is it safe to ...
JackBixuis's user avatar
25 votes
5 answers
9k views

Do multiple routers increase security?

My traffic goes trough 6 routers in sequence. +----------+ +----------+ | | 192.168.3.2 | | | Internet | +---------->+ Router 4 | | ...
the french's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
141 views

(When) Is it a security concern if BIOS/UEFI uses/reserves much RAM?

BIOS, UEFI and hardware's firmware ROMs are not very comforting sources for concern. On a system that I administer, a large amount of main system memory (9 of 512GB) is unavailable. Next to the ...
fraleone's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
139 views

Securely erase firmware secret key

I have an SSD with the option (with ATA-commands) to erase the firmware for security reasons. In the firmware flash cells, the secret key is stored for encrypting the data on the fly. When I ask the ...
Aard's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
223 views

MacOS's Finder (and Xcode) accessing iDevices while network was off

I am trying to figure out what is wrong with my Mac. Here are my devices: iPad (7th generation, MW752LL/A) with iOS 14.01 (18A393), iPad Air (MD788LL/A) with iOS 12.4.8 (16G201), iPhone 6 Plus (...
com ter's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
821 views

INTEL-SA-00086 extracting the secret key used to encrypt Intel CPU code: is the digital signature bypassed?

In a recent attack to INTEL-SA-00086, the researchers are able to extract the secret key that encrypts updates to various Intel CPUs. In the arstechnica blog it is mentioned as The key may also allow ...
kelalaka's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can an empty, but used, usb flash drive that has NO firmware within it be infected with malware?

QUESTION: Can an empty, but used, usb flash drive that has NO firmware within it be infected with malware? I have been told by a networking and security expert that malware will only attach to (write ...
888.999's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
471 views

what are the best counter measures against reverse engineering of firmware? [closed]

How can I best prevent, that critical commandos (e.g. open garage door) from an IoT device are being reverse engineered from the firmware? Is the following list complete / do you spot any errors? Any ...
onGESOnEGa's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
883 views

Possibility of spyware on a refurbished router? [duplicate]

I saw a refurbished router on sale on Amazon for a good price and wanted to buy it. How likely is it that someone could buy these routers, install a custom firmware with spyware? I know spyware has ...
Meyer Denney's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
3k views

I want to buy a used docking station for my laptop. Has there ever been a case of a docking station being a security concern?

I found a used docking station for my Dell laptop. The price is very interesting and the docking station seems to be in perfect shape. But I'm somehow worried about potential security risks. After all,...
CuriousAboutDockingStations's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
258 views

Will dm-verity protect against firmware malware on storage devices likes HDD or SSD?

Malware on the firmware level can potentially mess with data on the storage device. There is no point in doing that for encrypted data except maybe corruption. But what about a smartphone or other ...
ashxantia's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
694 views

What is the purpose of anti-rollback protection in IoT devices?

The OWASP IoT top 10 and the ASVS appendix C warn to protect against firmware rollbacks: C.22 - Verify that the device cannot be downgraded to old versions (anti-rollback) of valid firmware. What is ...
Sjoerd's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Cryptoki PKCS11 C_Decrypt returns shorter key (decrypted message) than expected

First off let me say I'm fully aware this question can only be answered by the token vendor but I have already contacted them and with the whole COVID situation my hopes of hearing from them soon are ...
Marcos G.'s user avatar
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