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Thread: Preventing boot sector virus infection

  1. #1
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    Preventing boot sector virus infection

    Hello,

    I am not sure if this is the correct forum to post this. So, I am also posting in security discussions forum.

    I want to prevent getting a boot sector virus by booting from an infected storage device. Now, I have set the BIOS so that the computer will boot only from the hard drive and from nothing else. The hard drive is first in boot sequence and is the only one with a number in front(only devices preceded by a number are bootable).

    Will this prevent getting a boot sector virus from an infected medium inadvertently left plugged into the computer at bootup/shutdown?
    Last edited by jsvidyad; January 11th, 2012 at 05:00 AM. Reason: Mis-spelled title

  2. #2
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    I haven't run into any boot sector virii in a long time - not since floppy disks were the norm.

    If you have it set to only boot from the internal drive, there would be little to no risk of getting that type of virus.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    This is pretty much a duplicate post of your other one (with a slightly different title). I have asked moderators to merge them. Duplicate posting is against forum rules.

  4. #4
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    I am not sure if my post was clear enough. What I wanted to know is if the above BIOS setting is enough to prevent getting a boot sector virus from an infected USB storage device/DVD/floppy left in the computer and in place when the computer boots up or shuts down.

  5. #5
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    I mentioned that I was not sure where to put the post. Please put it in the appropriate forum.

  6. #6
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    Quote Originally Posted by jsvidyad View Post
    I am not sure if my post was clear enough. What I wanted to know is if the above BIOS setting is enough to prevent getting a boot sector virus from an infected USB storage device/DVD/floppy left in the computer and in place when the computer boots up or shuts down.
    In short: Yes.

    Long answer: You don't really need to worry about boot sector viruses anymore, as they aren't that common anymore. I'd be more concerned with phishing attacks or XSS than a boot sector virus.

    BTW: I closed your other thread, since there were no replies.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    I have to disagree with Charles at least on one point. The bios control mechanism you have in place offers you no real protection against MBR tampering. Though I do concede that this is not a common avenue of approach for most malware these days (TDSS not withstanding).

    That being said you have to realize that your MBR is not really ever going to be protected in that it will almost always be writeable. The exception there is that some high end server raid controllers give You some measure of control.

    Really securing your operating environment should be your top priority. Sorry if this is convoluted.

  8. #8
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    Hello,

    I know that I can get a boot sector virus infection over the internet when I'm browsing using a windows OS. My question was regarding avoiding boot sector infection from infected media left in the computer alone. I am not concerned about getting it from the internet as I don't use windows at all.

  9. #9
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    Is there a reason that you're focused on this one particular kind of virus?

  10. #10
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    Re: Preventing boot sector virus infection

    In order for a drive to be booted from, there has to be a bootable image on it and it has to be selected in the BIOS as a boot device. Also it has to be physically present. Absent any of those factors you're pretty well in the clear. Obviously the easiest factor to control is whether it's connected or not.

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