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.

Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Smart Home

Protect yourself: Here are some of the best home security systems

Looking for the best home security systems for your house? These systems offer the best mix of devices, smart features, monitoring services, and fees that you can afford (plus good customer service reports).
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.
Computing

Calibrate your display to get it looking just the way you like it

Want to see images the way they're intended to be seen? Here is our quick guide on how to calibrate your monitor using your operating system or another tool, to make what's on the screen look as good as it can.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code. 
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Computing

Microsoft’s Clippy came back from the dead, but didn’t last very long

Before Cortana, Alexa, and Siri even existed, Microsoft Clippy dominated the screens of computers in the 1990s to help assist Microsoft Office users when writing letters. He recently made a bit of a comeback only to die off again.
Computing

Nvidia faces attacks from AMD, Intel, and even Google. Should it be worried?

Nvidia announced an expanded array of RTX server solutions designed to leverage the power of ray-tracing at GTC 2019. The effort will help Nvidia take on Google's Stadia in game streaming with GeForce Now, and the company's investments in…
Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…