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chances of continued infection with new drive and install?

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#1 General Public

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

I have a computer that's old and infected.  


I want to repurpose it, and will replace the dinky, old drive, with a new, bigger, faster drive, and reinstall from scratch.  Also swapping out ram.


How common are bios/ram viruses?  i.e. I just want to make sure if I do the above without clearing out the current maleware/virus/trojan, the new install won't have the old crap there.


Thank you for your time!


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#2 Didier Stevens

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:52 PM

I would say that the chance malware changed the BIOS of your PC is low.


This type of malware exists in-the-wild, not only as a proof-of-concept, but it is not generic. AFAIK, there is no malware than can modify all types of BIOS.


What version of Windows did you have running on that old PC?

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#3 quietman7


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Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:27 PM

Researchers have demonstrated in a test environment proof-of-concept viruses that could modify the flash BIOS or install a rootkit on the BIOS of common systems in order to survive a reformat and reinfect a clean disk.

Fortunately, as these articles and Didier Stevens' note, it's highly unlikely you will encounter a BIOS-level scenario as it is not practical for attackers to use such an exploit on a grand scale. Malware writers would much rather target a large audience through social networking where they can use sophisticated but less technical means than a BIOS virus.
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