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Hacking Team’s malware uses UEFI rootkit to survive OS reinstalls

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Surveillance software maker Hacking Team has provided its government customers with the ability to infect the low-level firmware found in laptops and other computers that they wanted to spy on.

The company developed a tool that can be used to modify a computer’s UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) so that it silently reinstalls its surveillance tool even if the hard drive is wiped clean or replaced.

UEFI is a replacement for the traditional BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and is meant to standardize modern computer firmware through a reference specification. But there are multiple companies that develop UEFI firmware, and there can be significant differences between the implementations used by PC manufactures.

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