hardware that can bypass software

About 2:00 a.m. I found this in an old archive

Criminal hackers are creating malicious hardware which experts warn will be much more difficult to detect than conventional software-based malware.

A team led by Samuel King, assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has demonstrated how to gain control of a computer by adding malicious circuits to its processor.

Such circuits are effectively invisible to antivirus and other security software because they interfere with the computer at a deeper level than a software-based virus or even a rootkit.

King’s team explained to New Scientist that they used a processor called a field programmable gate array (FPGA), in which logic circuits can be rearranged to create a replica of an existing open source processor called Leon3.

The original processor contains around 1.7 million circuits, but the boffins added about 1,000 malicious circuits not present in Leon3.

The new circuits allowed them to bypass security controls on Leon3 in a similar way to which a virus hands control of a computer to a hacker, but without requiring a flaw in a software application.

When the scientists connected the FPGA to another computer, they were able to steal passwords and install malicious software that allowed the operating system to be controlled remotely.

“Once you have this mechanism in place, you can do whatever you want,” King told New Scientist.

I wonder if comodo CIS can find a way to stop this (:KWL)
Does comodo have anything to protect against hardware attacks???
MAybe whip up a program that can deny access to any illigetimate hardware that comes about

I think this one is for the records

I hope Mehil has solution

Duh… This is science fiction? ;D

a way to stop this

Don’t let any stranger open your computer and replace its components, as easy as that. :wink:

Also that tactic, if feasible at all, would be unprofitable for criminals…

And the article is somewhat sensationalist, in claiming that “hackers look to ‘hardware viruses’”, when it was just a R&D proof-of-concept by a university professor, not any cybercriminal.

I think something like this could present a genuine problem if someone has physical access to your computer on a regular basis. I don’t see how you could stop it then. Just as a hardware keylogger is completely undetectable by any software, it looks as though this would be as well, even worse than a hardware keylogger which must be physically removed later to retrieve any data, where this would always remain in place on the host machine and nearly undetectable.

I doubt Comodo or anyone could find an easy answer to this problem, if others have physical access to your computer.

Some examples where I could see this being exploited would be taking your box into that cheap little computer repair shop, to save some doe, to come home later with a little surprise. The night shift janitor at your place of work having too much time on his hands decides to go “super spy”. A spouse, roommate, or other family/friend who is technically inclined and just loves to be nosy, decides your a worthy target.

Just imagine your own possible scenarios, but then remember, they could just happen to you! Pleasant dreams kiddies…muhahahah muhahahaha muhahahaha!!!

There aren’t that many consumer devices that use FPGA’s, AFAIK. They are generally used in embedded devices, primarily because of their programmability.

Having said that, I will keep a much closer eye on my air conditioner. And I promise to not type on my fridge anymore.