All posts tagged BIOS

Curious conspiracies… or maybe just progress all at once

In the wake of Truecrypt’s sudden implosion, someone sent me a link to this curious blog post. I can see why many people might find the timing interesting, but there are a number of details this particular blog post doesn’t get correct, and it actually spends most of its time talking about stuff that has […]

When Linux is easier than Windows

A few months ago I bought a Gigabyte GA-Z77M-D3H to learn computer forensics on, because at the time I thought that was the direction my career was going. I dropped it into a neglected Compaq case and installed Linux on it, since most of the free forensics tools run on Linux. The current version of […]

The NSA’s disaster aversion by keeping BIOSes safe for the free world

This weekend, CBS ran a story about how the NSA foiled a sinister plot to brick millions of PCs and cause a financial meltdown. At least they didn’t say MELTDOWN. My opinion is that this is a puff piece. A source managed to scare a journalist with a threat that sounded credible enough, and make […]

A dark day for security

A security professional’s nightmare happened to AMI this week. Tons of confidential data, including the source code for the UEFI BIOS for Intel Ivy Bridge-based systems and an AMI-owned private key for digital signatures, turned up on a wide-open FTP server for all comers to download anonymously. The implications are nearly limitless. To a malware […]

Is TRIM better than Native Command Queuing?

Another question from the big bag ‘o search queries: When you’re shopping for an SSD, is TRIM better than Native Command Queuing? It’s an interesting question, and my first inclination is to say no, because TRIM and NCQ solve two similar but distinctly different problems. But the more I think about it, the more I […]

Beware the Mebromi, my son

Symantec has identified Mebromi. a piece of malware that not only infects the MBR, but also infects the Award BIOS, making it very difficult to detect and eradicate. By hooking into the BIOS, Mebromi can easily re-infect a system the next time you reboot. Which is exactly what it does.

Happy birthday, IBM PC!

The IBM PC 5150 turns 30 today. IBM didn’t invent the personal computer, but if your computer has an Intel or AMD CPU in it, it’s the direct descendant of the beige box IBM unleashed on the world on August 12, 1981. Without a huge amount of effort, it’s even possible to run most of […]

What I would do to fix Dr. A’s computer

I left my conversation with Dr. A nearly convinced he doesn’t really need a new computer. The local store is pitching him a new $700 Dell Inspiron with a 1 TB hard drive and 6 GB of RAM and a 17-inch screen. But he could upgrade to a 1 TB hard drive for less than […]

Upgrade diary: Compaq Presario C552US

The Presario C552US shipped from the factory with a 1.6 GHz Celeron M single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, and Windows Vista Home Basic. It’s the most miserable computing experience I’ve seen in a very long time, if ever. I don’t know how they ever sold a single one of these machines, performing like that. Fortunately, […]

Using ATA Security eXtension BIOS to add hard drive password protection

Most desktop PCs don’t have the ability to set an ATA password in the BIOS, precluding you from enabling the onboard AES-128 encryption in a drive like the Intel 320 SSD. If you’re willing to hack your BIOS or burn a boot ROM to put in a network card, Arne Fitzenreiter has ATA Security eXtension […]