BIOS virus ?

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Johnswifty

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Dec 31, 2017
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How common it it ?
I have old sony vaio laptop with windows 7.
I am planning to install ubuntu in it to handle extreamly sensitive financial work.

If I completely unistall windows and install latest ubuntu from scratch is there still possibility that BIOS virus can cause system vulnerabilities ?
I don't want to take any chance.

Should I do something or am I worrying too much ?
 

askey127

Malware Specialist
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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3,721
You are not worrying too much, but BIOS Viruses are extremely rare.
DO NOT try to download Ubuntu 17.10 in any form. It has a serious flaw and has been pulled from most download sites until it's fixed.
Once you choose the Linux distro to use, boot with the Linux disk and have the Linux installer reformat and use the entire drive.
You don't need to "uninstall" Windows first.
I would strongly suggest installing Linux Mint 18.3 with an Xfce or Cinnamon desktop.
I use it on my regular machines, like the one I am using now.
Simple and straightforward.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 21, 2007
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12,118
is there still possibility that BIOS virus can cause system vulnerabilities ?
You've got it the other way around, a virus uses vulnerabilities on the computer to install itself, and attackers use vulnerabilities to hack your PC. The answer is to patch: update all applications to the latest version and run Windows Update. Security patches are the solution to eliminate vulnerabilities.
 

zx10guy

Trusted Advisor
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Mar 30, 2008
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6,402
BIOS vulnerabilities has been a focus of OEMs. Dell for instance does validation checks on their BIOS software both at the time of install and during boot up/execution. It does this by doing a validation hash check on the BIOS software. These features are available on their servers. The new 14G servers are the ones that do the validation check of the BIOS on boot up.

I'm not sure if Dell has the same level of validation on the BIOS software you download before installing on client devices (PCs/laptops). But I suspect they do.

The likelihood of this impacting the average user who doesn't have risky habits is pretty low. I'm not worried about it and I'm one of the more paranoid people out there.
 
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