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.

Product Review

We never wanted a smart doorbell, until we met Nest Hello

You can answer your door while sitting on the couch with the Nest Hello smart doorbell, which brings vision, intelligence and convenience to your doorstep.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Computing

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.
Computing

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step by step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.
Computing

There’s now proof that quantum computing is superior to the classical variety

For the first time in computer science history, researchers have tangibly demonstrated how a quantum computer is better than a classical computer. A quantum computer was able to solve a math problem that a classical PC cannot.
Computing

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Product Review

Dell’s G3 Gaming laptop knows what gamers want, and what they can live without

Compromise and budget gaming laptops go hand-in-hand, but with the G3, Dell has figured out how to balance what gamers want with what they can live without.
Computing

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.
Computing

Apple CEO demands Bloomberg retract its Chinese surveillance story

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling on Bloomberg to retract a story alleging that Apple had purchased compromised servers that allowed the Chinese government to spy on Apple. Apple's investigation found no truth to the story.
Product Review

Amid a new fleet of budget laptops, the ZenBook 13 sails where others sink

It’s never been truer that you don’t need to spend over a thousand bucks to buy a good laptop. The ZenBook 13 takes we’ve always loved about its predecessor and makes enough small refinements to keep it ahead of its competitors.
Computing

Protect your digital identity with these four easy steps to online anonymity

You don't have to be a secret agent or a notorious hacktivist to care about anonymity. Consult this guide to learn tips, tricks, and best practices for staying anonymous and keeping your online activity private
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

How does Samsung's new 2-in-1 stack up against the tried-and-true Surface Pro 6?

We're the stacking Surface Pro 6 and Galaxy Book 2 up against each other in this head-to-head. Both of these devices share a similar form factor and design, but be it LTE connectivity or difference in pricing, each offers up its own pros…
Social Media

How to turn off Safe Mode in Tumblr

If you've joined Tumblr after hearing tales about the social network's more adult communities, you may be disappointed by how family-friendly it seems. Here's how to turn off "Safe Search" in Tumblr and delve into the site's seedy…