Spyware, Viruses, & Security

General discussion

Can viruses be removed from the BIOs?

by Dango517 / January 28, 2008 2:00 PM PST

(This is just a general question. I'm not having a problem with this topic, just curious.) I believe that it is correct that viruses can infect the BIOs, maybe I'm wrong. Is there special software to remove viruses from the BIOs? At one time I believe the BIOs chip could be replaced to solve this problem but now because of engineering changes this can't be done with modern mother boards. Is this correct? Are these types of viruses common? What percent (a guesstimate will do) of risk do I have of acquiring one of these monsters, provided I use anti-virus software?

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You are correct
by Donna Buenaventura / January 28, 2008 6:59 PM PST

There are virus that can infect the BIOS and/or the boot sector.

For boot sector virus, you can simply fix it using Fixboot or fixmbr
or use a utility to fix it.
Example:
FixBoot is a small utility that overwrites a boot sector of a diskette with a standard boot code thus elimitating any diskette boot sector infection.
http://www.f-secure.com/download-purchase/tools.shtml

For BIOS virus, you will need to know what is the virus that infected the BIOS. In the above link there is also tools to remove a specific BIOS virus e.g. CIH virus, INT_CE boot virus

Note: Enabling virus protection on the BIOS help protect. In my BIOS, I always enable it after installing Windows.

Some anti-malware or anti-virus has boot sector scanner to check for Boot virus. Check with the documentation of the software if they have it.

Are these types of viruses common? What percent (a guesstimate will do) of risk do I have of acquiring one of these monsters, provided I use anti-virus software?
Yes. Depends on how it is spread. Thru infected floppy, email attachments or another network that is infected.
Just make sure your antivirus is always on and up-to-date and take advantage of the scanners ability to scan ALL areas.

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Thank you very much
by Dango517 / January 28, 2008 11:41 PM PST
In reply to: You are correct

One last question. Are there viruses that can't be removed more the BIOs and if they can't what is the process for removing them from the BIOs chip? New mother board. Seams this problem isn't as bad as I had imagined. This is good.

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Just a hunch ...
by Brent Welch / January 28, 2008 11:53 PM PST
In reply to: Thank you very much

but reflashing the BIOS should remove the virus.

Anytime I've reflashed a BIOS to update, the old BIOS is erased before the new one is installed.

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(NT) You may be right. Certainly worth the effort in any case.
by Dango517 / January 28, 2008 11:58 PM PST
In reply to: Just a hunch ...
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I agree that re-flashing often helps to get rid of it
by Donna Buenaventura / January 29, 2008 12:37 AM PST

but if depends on the payload and variant of the virus.
Example is CIH virus that sometimes do not only add something in the BIOS but also will erase a portion of the hard-drive which means user not only need to cleanup the BIOS but also wipe the hard-drive.

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Thanks
by Dango517 / January 29, 2008 1:13 AM PST

Looks like you "can" get ride of these without expensive parts replacements or a new system. That gives me a little more peace of mind. Happy Thanks!

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(NT) You're welcome. We're happy to help.
by Donna Buenaventura / January 29, 2008 2:56 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks
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could my system be affected by a bios virus
by koladeomotayo / June 9, 2010 4:39 PM PDT

it has problem with display from the begining of booting, after sometime it will display correctly. It also shows blue screen with message that " the display adapter cold not be reset."

the system is hp pavilion tx2500
with AMD Athlon x2 and ati radeon hd3200 graphics adapter.

pls what can I do.

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Can you access the display or graphics configuration?
by Donna Buenaventura / June 9, 2010 6:22 PM PDT

If no, try to check ATI or HP website for graphics driver update. If there's any, please install it.

See if the display during Windows boot will disappear.

If yes, review the settings and try to use the default settings.

Also, have you installed any games that might cause any changes to your display settings?

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