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Overview of 2009 Computrace Research.

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by

Hannibal San

on 25 June 2014

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Transcript of Overview of 2009 Computrace Research.

Long Story, short.
Persistent BIOS Infection (with Alfredo Ortega, CanSecWest09/Syscan09). Lots of BIOS reverse engineering fun.

Found a very particular OptionROM


- String references: iexplore.exe, rpcnetp.exe,
- Strange components: FAT/NTFS driver
- Even more strange: Embedded PE files.
What is Computrace?
- Absolute Corp. Computrace, Software Anti-theft system
- Call-home mechanism within the OS (Application/Service)
- The server (home) can gather information, execute code and even wipe the HDs remotely.

Agreements with motherboard vendors to offer
persistancy
through an
pre-installed

agent
on most BIOS/EFI (more, later)

How does the persistancy agent work?
- Check if the agent is activated (NVRAM)
- Detect HD filesystem
- Check if the windows binaries exist
- If not, restore them.
We are a happy family
Computrace lives in your BIOS even if you never heard of it.

For a complete list of vendors, check http://www.absolute.com/en/partners/bios-compatibility
Persistancy agent activation
- In a legit installation, the windows agent is installed and an entry is set in CMOS NVRAM.
- This let the BIOS stub know that it is installed.

No authentication of any kind. It can be done by anybody with system privileges, or with physical access.
Problems found
- You have a latent rootkit in your BIOS
- As it is positioned as a legitimate product, is whitelisted by all AV companies, including Kaspersky.
- No digital signature
- Communicates through an unencrypted channel (MITM is possible)
- Server info stored unencrypted (Redirection is possible. Demonstrated in 2009 talk)
Overview of Black Hat '09 presentation: "
Deactivating the rootkit
"
Anibal Sacco
Security Researcher
Full transcript