As more security researchers sift through the mountain of data and list of exploits the company leveraged, new critical discoveries are being made almost daily. Today we find out Hacking Team uses UEFI BIOS rootkit to keep RCS 9 Agent in target systems:
The dissection of the data from the Hacking Team leak has yielded another critical discovery: Hacking Team uses a UEFI BIOS rootkit to keep their Remote Control System (RCS) agent installed in their targets’ systems. This means that even if the user formats the hard disk, reinstalls the OS, and even buys a new hard disk, the agents are implanted after Microsoft Windows is up and running.
They have written a procedure specifically for Insyde BIOS (a very popular BIOS vendor for laptops). However, the code can very likely work on AMI BIOS as well.
A Hacking Team slideshow presentation claims that successful infection requires physical access to the target system; however, we can’t rule out the possibility of remote installation. An example attack scenario would be: The intruder gets access to the target computer, reboots into UEFI shell, dumps the BIOS, installs the BIOS rootkit, reflashes the BIOS, and then reboots the target system.