A stealthy Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) bootkit called BlackLotus has become the first publicly known malware capable of bypassing Secure Boot defenses, making it a potent threat in the cyber landscape.
“This bootkit can run even on fully up-to-date Windows 11 systems with UEFI Secure Boot enabled,” Slovak cybersecurity company ESET said in a report shared with The Hacker News.
UEFI bootkits are deployed in the system firmware and allow full control over the operating system (OS) boot process, thereby making it possible to disable OS-level security mechanisms and deploy arbitrary payloads during startup with high privileges.
Offered for sale at $5,000 (and $200 per new subsequent version), the powerful and persistent toolkit is programmed in Assembly and C and is 80 kilobytes in size. It also features geofencing capabilities to avoid infecting computers in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine.
Details about BlackLotus first emerged in October 2022, with Kaspersky security researcher Sergey Lozhkin describing it as a sophisticated crimeware solution.
“This represents a bit of a ‘leap’ forward, in terms of ease of use, scalability, accessibility, and most importantly, the potential for much more impact in the forms of persistence, evasion, and/or destruction,” Eclypsium’s Scott Scheferman noted.
BlackLotus, in a nutshell, exploits a security flaw tracked as CVE-2022-21894 (aka Baton Drop) to get around UEFI Secure Boot protections and set up persistence. The vulnerability was addressed by Microsoft as part of its January 2022 Patch Tuesday update.
A successful exploitation of the vulnerability, according to ESET, allows arbitrary code execution during early boot phases, permitting a threat actor to carry out malicious actions on a system with UEFI Secure Boot enabled without having physical access to it.
Read more: thehackernews.com