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Thread: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

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  1. #1
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    Question Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    Hi all.
    for our business bank account we need extra security. as i researched on google seems the only real safe way to avoid spywares is using a live linux CD instead of windows.
    but my question is if we get a BIOS virus then what ?!
    see here : threatpost.com/en_us/blogs/researchers-unveil-persistent-bios-attack-methods-031909

    let say is that possible a virus attack us when we are in Live CD from BIOS ?
    or maybe modify the BIOS so when we try to restart computer and go to Clean LIVE CD then the bad guys send us to a Fake infected OS which looks like the ubuntu live cd ?

  2. #2
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    A bios virus isn't a banking trojan. You should be fine using a very recent linux live cd.

    It is also possible to use an op system on a second/third partition. This system should be nicely updated, and only used for online banking. That's a second secure option. Please secure your browser with all nec. security measures. (Apparmor/no-script or RequestPolicy add-on.)

    Third remark. "A" 100% security isn't possible. But your pretty secure with Linux.(live cd)

  3. #3
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    i know BIOS virus is not a banking malware but actually my question is that 2 method i explained possible with a BIOS virus to a ubuntu Live CD ?
    1-calling a keylogger code from hard drive or internet from BIOS virus when Live ubuntu is working
    2-faking the boot. for example when we choose boot from CD in bios setting then when we restart to go to ubuntu live CD then we get into a fake OS which is hosted in hard drive but looks same as ubuntu live CD ...

    this 2 hack are possible ? (if are possible then i have to buy a computer without hard drive dedicated only for our business bank account to make sure there is no way it infect by BIOS or any other virus ..)

  4. #4
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    I would encourage you to do some reading on basic security. Rather than defend against one specific attack or another, you should try to harden your system against MOST attacks. In order to do that you need to understand where most attacks come from. The basics of security are pretty much the same across operating systems. This will get you started:

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BasicSecurity
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=510812

    Not sure what operating system you're running at the business because you didn't say, but if it's windows you should add an anti-virus scanner.

  5. #5
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    no sir actually i am an expert security user. and our business is related to a government. thats is why i asking such a question because the ways that they attack us can not be compared with personal behavior like use anti virus or install noscript ...
    when they make stuxnet then such a malware is several times easier ...

    so i think the answer is i have to buy a computer without HDD and BIOS battery (old fashion) ?

  6. #6
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    From the article:
    Sacco and Ortega stressed that in order to execute the attacks, you need either root privileges or physical access to the machine in question, which limits the scope.

  7. #7
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    the ways that they attack us
    Who is attacking you, how do you monitor your computer to jump into that conclusion? If so call the police, contact your provider.
    Computercrime is serious business!

    If you don't trust hardware a priori, because of possible sec. issue's, stop using the internet, because hardware is made in several countries in world.

  8. #8
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sa3er3 View Post
    no sir actually i am an expert security user. and our business is related to a government. thats is why i asking such a question because the ways that they attack us can not be compared with personal behavior like use anti virus or install noscript ...
    when they make stuxnet then such a malware is several times easier ...

    so i think the answer is i have to buy a computer without HDD and BIOS battery (old fashion) ?
    And you're the sys admin?

    OK. What services are running on your company system? What services are facing the internet? What attacks are you seeing in your logs? What have you done already for security?

  9. #9
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sa3er3 View Post
    so i think the answer is i have to buy a computer without HDD and BIOS battery (old fashion) ?
    Good luck getting such a system to run at all. The BIOS is necessary in order to boot the system, and without a battery you won't be able to configure it at all. Once the system boots, Linux no longer makes any use of the BIOS -- and the bootstrap code within the BIOS chip on the motherboard is totally incapable of accessing any network or downloading anything.

    As others have told you, installing a BIOS trojan requires physical access to the machine. And if outsiders have such access, no security is possible.

    In addition, if your security requirements are actually as strict as you indicate, the machine should never be connected to a network at all. The only completely secure system is one which is incapable of any input or output, and located in a sealed enclosure with no means of physical access. Of course, such a system is also completely useless...
    --
    Jim Kyle in Oklahoma, USA
    Linux Counter #259718
    Howto mark thread: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UnansweredPo.../SolvedThreads

  10. #10
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    Re: Live CD is secure agaist BIOS malwares ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ms. Daisy View Post
    I would encourage you to do some reading on basic security. Rather than defend against one specific attack or another, you should try to harden your system against MOST attacks. In order to do that you need to understand where most attacks come from. The basics of security are pretty much the same across operating systems. This will get you started:

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BasicSecurity
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=510812

    Not sure what operating system you're running at the business because you didn't say, but if it's windows you should add an anti-virus scanner.
    +1. I haven't heard of a BIOS exploit in a while.

    Browser exploits on the other hand...
    Come to #ubuntuforums! We have cookies! | Basic Ubuntu Security Guide

    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

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