Pre-boot malware Nemesis targets financial systems with data theft

Ccleaner
One of the more interesting revelations about the snooping tactics employed by the NSA over the past few years was that the agency had managed to install malware into hard-drive firmware in order to get around deletion during formats. While not as complicated as that, Nemesis malware uses a similar system by hiding outside the reaches of normal clean-ups, dodging even operating system reinstalls by hiding in the boot-record.

IT professionals who don’t want the malware equivalent of the Nemesis character pictured above rampaging within the systems they manage will be on guard against this possibility.

Nemesis is in actuality a collection of programs and malware that is capable of doing lots of different things. It can transfer files around, capture screenshots and keystrokes, inject processes, and even capture financial data from a system. It’s designed to hide away on banking systems and siphon off funds and financially important information for the nefarious individuals behind its injection.

And by hiding itself within the boot-record of a system, it’s able to avoid traditional detection techniques, starting up before the OS has even thought about launching defensive countermeasures.

With that in mind, preventing an infection like this is the best way to avoid its associated issues, while clearing it out after it’s taken hold is much harder. It certainly requires a different approach than usual, as the team at FireEye discussed in their recent exposé (via Ars) on the malware bootkit. Any users who believes their systems are infected with such malware will need to do a complete drive wipe to make sure it’s cleared out.

This will be a process that’s a little more well known among SSD users, as a zeroing of the drive can often improve performance — even if the drive is TRIM enabled. However, it may be more daunting for enterprises or businesses that are more used to ghosting a drive from one system to another without ever starting from scratch.

This isn’t necessarily something that those running modern operating systems need to worry about though. Windows 8 and 10 both utilize Secure Boot, which prevents a replacement of the Windows bootkit from being launched.

That’s perhaps why the bootkit targets enterprise systems and financial services, which have a history of running older operating systems. Yet another good reason to stay up to date with your operating system, as well as with drivers and anti-malware software.

Computing

An inside look at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx, a revolutionary laptop processor

Six years after Microsoft’s failed foray into ARM computing with Windows RT, its second effort with Always-Connected PC is now showing early signs of success. Microsoft partner Qualcomm told us how the Snapdragon 8cx might revolutionize…
Computing

Why limit yourself to one OS? Try one of these great virtual machine apps

Buying a new computer just because you want to utilize another operating system isn't necessary. Just use the best virtual machine applications to emulate one OS inside another, no matter what your platform or budget is.
Computing

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.
Computing

Protect yourself from the latest malware with the best free antivirus software

Malware, spyware, and adware is never fun to find on your PC. Check out our picks for the best free antivirus software, so you can rid your system of any dangerous software that might be lurking around.
Computing

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Computing

Snatch Apple’s 2017 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to $1,200 off at B&H

The latest deal at B&H is offering up 2017 15-inch Apple MacBook Pros, in space gray and silver, with Intel Core i7 quad-core CPUs, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Radeon Pro 560 GPUs with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Computing

I tried an LTE laptop for a month, and I wasn’t really convinced

LTE laptops offer up plenty of benefits and are becoming more common. After spending one month with one in my daily life in New York City, I really wondered if it is something that consumers really need in their lives.
Computing

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.
Gaming

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Computing

Qualcomm’s dual-screen PC concept looks like two connected Surface Go tablets

In Qualcomm's video teaser, we got a glimpse of the company's vision for how a dual-screen ARM PC should work. The internet reacted to Qualcomm's video, calling the device in question merely a mashup of two Surface Go tablets.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Computing

Hololens 2 could give the Always Connected PC a new, ‘aggressive’ form

Microsoft is said to be leaning on Qualcomm to power its Hololens 2 headset. Instead of Intel CPUs, the next Hololens could use a Snapdragon 850 processor, allowing it to benefit from the always-connected features.
Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.