Hundreds of Windows and Linux computer models from virtually all hardware makers are vulnerable to a new attack that executes malicious firmware early in the boot-up sequence, a feat that allows infections that are nearly impossible to detect or remove using current defense mechanisms.
The attack—dubbed LogoFAIL by the researchers who devised it—is notable for the relative ease in carrying it out, the breadth of both consumer- and enterprise-grade models that are susceptible, and the high level of control it gains over them. In many cases, LogoFAIL can be remotely executed in post-exploit situations using techniques that can’t be spotted by traditional endpoint security products. And because exploits run during the earliest stages of the boot process, they are able to bypass a host of defenses, including the industry-wide Secure Boot, Intel’s Secure Boot, and similar protections from other companies that are devised to prevent so-called bootkit infections.
Game over for platform security
LogoFAIL is a constellation of two dozen newly discovered vulnerabilities that have lurked for years, if not decades, in Unified Extensible Firmware Interfaces responsible for booting modern devices that run Windows or Linux. The vulnerabilities are the product of almost a year’s worth of work by Binarly, a firm that helps customers identify and secure vulnerable firmware.