Bios anti-virus protection?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by tophat, Mar 26, 2005.

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  1. tophat

    tophat Guest

    I was going through my bios the other day and noticed it says I have anti-virus protection. Basically I can enable or disable this feature which it says will warn me if any attempt is made to write data into the IDE hard disk boot sector.

    Can someone explain what this means? Is it basically protection for the bios against certain (rare?) viruses that can wipe out or change your bios? Would you recommend enabling it or will my regular anti-virus (NAV 2005) be good enough? Is it possible it could conflict with my regular anti-virus? Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    It should already be enabled, actually. If not, it is something worth turning on. You're right in that it's rare, though. This is something that was a lot more common some time ago, and NT based Windows versions (like 2000 & XP) protect against this already, but rootkits are coming into vogue, so you never know if they'll start doing this again.
     
  3. tophat

    tophat Guest

    Thanks Notok. I am running XP. So your saying XP will protect me to a certain extent, but your still recommending I enable it? But what about NAV, does it also protect against this sort of thing or no? Thanks again.
     
  4. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    The NT architecture doesn't allow direct access to hardware, which it would need to be able to write anything to the MBR (master boot record) or BIOS. This effectively stops the old style viruses that would spread via floppy disks and such. I'm not sure what all the latest of these kind of virii/trojans did, but they pretty much became obsolete when everyone started using Windows 2000 and XP. Rootkits, however, are a different story.. they get into the core of the system to make it behave in ways it's not supposed to.. some can then copy a trojan to the BIOS on your motherboard or video-card, and I'm sure the MBR, which might make this option on your BIOS worthwhile again. Norton probably scans the MBR, but I doubt it prevents access to it. If you want preventative protection against rootkits, check out ProcessGuard.

    The only thing to keep in mind with that option in your bios is that it will alert when you install Windows again when it goes to install the boot loader. It may even prevent it, depending, so you might want to disable it the next time you reinstall Windows. Other than that, it's not going to hurt to enable it.
     
  5. tophat

    tophat Guest

    Thank you Notok for the very detailed explanation, it was very helpful. :)
     
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