'Voodoo' Hackers: Stealing Secrets From Snowden's Favorite OS Is Easier Than You'd Think

Anonymous Coward
in security on (#J92P)
Tor has its advocates, and it's certainly our best chance at ensuring a modicum of privacy online. But it's got vulnerabilities of its own.

One attack vector is through secure BIOS systems that can be rooted and then have access to everything a computer does, regardless of operating system.
Kallenberg and Kovah have created a tool that automates the identification and exploitation of BIOS bugs, a number of which they will detail at CanSecWest. Using their own bespoke malware, they have repeatedly been able to gain access to System Management Mode (SMM), a part of the computer used by firmware that's entirely separate from other processes, but can read everything going through a machine's memory.

"Once the payload is delivered, we have an agent running in SMM," said Kallenberg during a demo session with FORBES. "The thing about SMM is that it runs independent of the operating system, the operating system has no visibility into system management mode, it's a protected region that can't be read or written by the OS - Tails can't read or write to it - but it has access to all of memory."
Check out the rest at 'Voodoo' Hackers: Stealing Secrets From Snowden's Favorite OS Is Easier Than You'd Think.

Not just TOR (Score: 1)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2015-08-24 07:54 (#J951)

This is a somewhat misleading article by Forbes. It's poking holes in Tor, but it seems these vulnerabilities would affect anything at all. It's hard to protect yourself from an attack at the BIOS level, unless you swallow Microsoft's SecureBoot strategy, which a lot of us find distasteful.
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