Focus on Linux
Re: Write-protect sctors? Aug 29 2006 12:02AM
scott (redhowlingwolves bellsouth net) (1 replies)
Re: Write-protect sctors? Aug 29 2006 12:14AM
scott (redhowlingwolves bellsouth net) (1 replies)
scott wrote:
> Bill Church wrote:
>> It sounds very crazy. Did you ever actually identify if there was a
>> rootkit installed? Did you try booting to a live CD of another
>> distribution and investigating the disks from that live CD?
>> Remember that partitioning does modify the existing data on the disk,
>> just the partition table, unless you chose to do a full format that
>> data is still there. However, the chances of it actually being able
>> to effect anything that's not directly referencing that data by
>> executing it seems improbable. I wouldn't think that simply copying a
>> file over that location couldn't spawn a process, of course nothing
>> is impossible.
>> There is a BIOS function that is supposed to protect the boot sector,
>> it's usually disabled by default on most systems. I imagine it would
>> be possible for someone to modify the CMOS and protect any sectors
>> they wish, but the attacker would undoubtedly need to have advanced
>> knowledge of your system, BIOS, hard disk and geometry to make this
>> attack possible. I highly doubt this is the case.
>> It sounds like you may have a defective hard disk, I would try a disk
>> diagnostic first, or maybe attempt to install another OS or
>> distribution.
>> -Bill
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: scott Sent: Mon, 8/28/2006 11:23am
>> To: focus-linux (at) securityfocus (dot) com [email concealed]
>> Subject: Write-protect sctors?
>> I had a probable rootkit in ubuntu dapper that proved to be more
>> persistent than I thought possible.I did rkhunter and showed some
>> anomalies in /dev/...Trying to track those dir's down proved
>> elusive,even with root enabled(in ubuntu,root is disabled by
>> default.You can still sudo, but no su without certain switches,)the
>> dir's effectively hid from my view.
>> So I decided to reinstall a clean slate.This is when I encounter
>> problems that don't make sense.
>> As the install progresses to the partitioning of the disc,I opt for
>> the erase whole disc option.It progresses to a certain point and then
>> quits with an error..repeatedly.
>> I filed a bug report with launchpad,but my question is this:Can any
>> malware you are aware of write-protect certain segments of a
>> HD,without BIOS support?Or is there a BIOS trojan that I'm not aware
>> of in Linux?Is this even possible with a hardened system?
>> Is this even possible in any system,Windows included?
>> What I.m asking is : Can any malware write-protect sectors on a HD
>> that survive repartioning?
>> Sounds really crazy,huh?
>> Thanks,Scott
> It was a problem in ubiquity, in that it never resolved to a mount
> point when installing.
> But my point is that I eventually got the same install cd to actually
> install.Now if something was trying to protect itself,only after many
> attempted overwrites did I succeed,that would
> seem...Almost...logical,..Maybe.!?
> The hard drive is fine,as far functioning,anyway.
> I also know that you have to have (presumably,)BIOS access to write-
> protect sectors of a HD.
> Didn't Joanna Rutkowska demonstrate a BIOS virus,or POC,at one
> time?Not likely,or probable,that this was my problem,but could it be
> done....theoretically?Especially in a `nix environment?
> I think not.But I have been wrong so many times in my life,that I like
> to think anything is possible.
> If ya want to do it bad enough,at least.
> Any other thoughts on this matter?
> Regards,Scott
Hi again.
I also know that BIOS is ROM,not RAM.
Therefore,it seems that I would have to do a BIOS flash for this to happen?

Regards...again,and thanks,Scott

[ reply ]
Re: Write-protect sctors? Aug 30 2006 01:56PM
Andreas Ferrari (aferrari stasoft ch) (1 replies)
Re: Write-protect sctors? Aug 30 2006 07:56PM
Walter Lamagna (wlamagna tenroses com ar)


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