Who's Watching Your Firmware? A Critical Gap in Cybersecurity Programs

S. Spry and J. Loucaides
Spry Squared Inc, Colorado, United States

Poster stand number: T120

Keywords: Firmware security, firmware attack, firmware compromise

Firmware is the unguarded vulnerability of information technology (IT) infrastructure, Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT). The risk posed to user device has become far more widespread due to the proliferation of hacking tools, firmware knowledge, and wealth of access points for adversaries to target. Because firmware is the core software that controls every electronic device, from webcams, microphones, network cards, sound cards to even batteries, Industrial Control Systems (ICS), malicious actors have quickly learned to leverage malware, bootkits, rootkits, infected USBs, corrupted drives and bad firmware products to gain access to IT, IoT and OT devices. Why is Firmware a Security Threat?  Firmware (BIOS) is a specific class of computer software embedded in every IT, IoT, and OT device  Firmware can be up to 100% of the software on a device  Organizations have “Zero Visibility” if their firmware has been compromised  Firmware Vulnerabilities Below the Operating System (VBOS)  Firmware attacks can persist even after a reboot or wipe of the OS