Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting computers at start-up: New guidelines

Date:
December 21, 2011
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Summary:
A new draft computer security publication provides guidance for vendors and security professionals as they work to protect personal computers as they start up.

A new draft computer security publication from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides guidance for vendors and security professionals as they work to protect personal computers as they start up.

The first software that runs when a computer is turned on is the "Basic Input/Output System" (BIOS). This fundamental system software initializes the hardware before the operating system starts. Since it works at such a low level, before other security protections are in place, unauthorized changes -- malicious or accidental -- to the BIOS can cause a significant security threat.

"Unauthorized changes in the BIOS could allow or be part of a sophisticated, targeted attack on an organization, allowing an attacker to infiltrate an organization's systems or disrupt their operations," said Andrew Regenscheid, one of the authors of BIOS Integrity Measurement Guidelines (NIST Special Publication 800-155). In September, 2011, a security company discovered the first malware designed to infect the BIOS, called Mebromi. "We believe this is an emerging threat area," said Regenscheid. These developments underscore the importance of detecting changes to the BIOS code and configurations, and why monitoring BIOS integrity is an important element of security.

SP 800-155 explains the fundamentals of BIOS integrity measurement -- a way to determine if the BIOS has been modified -- and how to report any changes. The publication provides detailed guidelines to hardware and software vendors that develop products that can support secure BIOS integrity measurement mechanisms. It may also be of interest to organizations that are developing deployment strategies for these technologies.

This publication is the second in a series of BIOS documents. BIOS Protection Guidelines (NIST SP 800-147) was issued in April, 2011. It provides guidelines for computer manufacturers to build in features to secure the BIOS against unauthorized modifications. The detection mechanisms in SP 800-155 complement the protection mechanisms outlined in SP 800-147 to provide greater assurance of the security of the BIOS.

Copies of the publication can be downloaded from

http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/drafts/800-155/draft-SP800-155_Dec2011.pdf.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Protecting computers at start-up: New guidelines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111221105826.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (2011, December 21). Protecting computers at start-up: New guidelines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111221105826.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). "Protecting computers at start-up: New guidelines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111221105826.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

AP (July 25, 2014) Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship has launched a self-guided mobile tour app to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Atlanta. (July 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins