Commonly known as the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), this fundamental system firmware—computer code built into hardware—initializes the hardware when you switch on the computer before starting the operating system. BIOS security is a new area of focus for NIST computer security scientists.
"By building security into the firmware, you establish the foundation for a secure system," said Andrew Regenscheid, one of the authors of BIOS Protection Guidelines (NIST Special Publication 800-147). Without appropriate protections, attackers could disable systems or hide malicious software by modifying the BIOS. This guide is focused on reducing the risk of unauthorized changes to the BIOS.
Designed to assist computer manufacturers writing BIOS code, SP 800-147 provides guidelines for building features into the BIOS that help protect it from being modified or corrupted by attackers. Manufacturers routinely update system firmware to fix bugs, patch vulnerabilities and support new hardware. SP 800-147 calls for using cryptographic "digital signatures" to authenticate the BIOS updates before installation based on NIST's current cryptographic guidelines.* The publication is available just as computer manufacturers are beginning to deploy a new generation of BIOS firmware. "We believe computer manufacturers are ready to implement these guidelines and we hope to see them in products soon," said Regenscheid.
The publication also suggests management best practices that are tightly coupled with the security guidelines for manufacturers. These practices will help computer administrators take advantage of the BIOS protection features as they become available.
BIOS Protection Guidelines, NIST SP 800-147, is available at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-147/NIST-SP800-147-April2011.pdf.
* See Digital Signature Standard (FIPS 186-3, June 2009) at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/fips/fips186-3/fips_186-3.pdf,
Recommendation for Key Management – Part 1: General (NIST SP 800-57, March 2008) at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-57/sp800-57-Part1-revised2_Mar08-2007.pdf, and
Recommendation for Obtaining Assurances for Digital Signature Applications (NIST SP 800-89, November 2006) at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-89/SP-800-89_November2006.pdf
Evelyn Brown | EurekAlert!
Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Tokyo Tech's six-legged robots get closer to nature
12.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences