All modern computers are vulnerable to cold boot attacks

All modern computers are vulnerable to cold boot attacks says a research taken up by cybersecurity firm F-Secure. The study found that all modern computers, mostly laptops, are at risk of data theft when the hackers gain physical access to the devices.

F-Secure research says that hackers can easily surpass the security layers of Windows or Mac PC to steal data, even if they are fully encrypted.

Researchers from F-Secure’s team say that they have discovered a flaw in the mechanism which allows hackers to disable the security firewall and carry cold boot attacks. Thus, cyber crooks can steal data from RAM through this firmware vulnerability before it rewrites data to the temporary memory storage after boot-up.

Finland based security firm says that hackers can launch attacks through a firmware flaw which was actually meant to govern the behavior of a boot process. This can be done by simply rewriting the content stored in the non-volatile memory of the PC that contains data such as PC settings, memory overwrite and info related to boot processes for external devices.

Dell, Lenovo, and Apple PCs are said to be most vulnerable to such cyber attacks. And the only solution is to either shut down or hibernate the laptops, instead of placing them in sleep mode.

After the Helsinki based company has released the report to the media, companies like Microsoft, Apple, Intel stated that they are working on mitigation strategies to counter such attacks.

Apple Inc went a step ahead by stating that the T2 chips used in its Mac PCs already have a security measure in place to counter such cold boot attacks.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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