Computer manufacturing giant Dell has released a new security tool for its commercial customers that aims to protect their computers from stealthy and sophisticated cyberattacks involving the compromise of the BIOS.
Dubbed 'SafeBIOS Events & Indicators of Attack' (IoA), the new endpoint security software is a behavior-based threat detection system that alerts users when BIOS settings of their computers undergo some unusual changes.
BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is a small but highly-privileged program that handles critical operations and starts your computer before handing it over to your operating system.
Protecting the BIOS program is crucial because:
- Changes to the system BIOS settings could allow malicious software to run during the boot process,
- Once a hacker takes over the BIOS, he can stealthily control the targeted computer and gain access to the data stored on it,
- Malware in BIOS remains persistent and doesn't get away even when you format or erase your entire hard drive,
- Attacks against the BIOS are typically hard to detect because they are invisible to antivirus and other security software installed on the system,
- With stealth access to one of the compromised systems in an enterprise IT network, sophisticated attackers could move laterally throughout the infrastructure.
According to Dell, the controls offered by SafeBIOS can quickly mitigate the risk of BIOS tampering by bringing them to your attention timely, allowing you to quarantine infected PCs.
"Organizations need the ability to detect when a malicious actor is on the move, altering BIOS configurations on endpoints as part of a larger attack strategy. SafeBIOS now provides the unique ability to generate Indicators of Attack on BIOS configurations, including changes and events that can signal an exploit," David Konetski, VP Client Solutions Group CTO at Dell said in a blog post.
"When BIOS configuration changes are detected that indicate a potential attack, security and IT teams are quickly alerted in their management consoles, allowing for swift isolation and remediation. SafeBIOS Events & IoA provides IT teams the visibility into BIOS configuration changes and analyzes these for potential threats – even during an ongoing attack."
The company says the SafeBIOS Events and Indicators of Attack tool is currently available for Dell commercial PCs through its Dell Trusted Devices solution.