Your computer’s BIOS is essential for starting your system and running it correctly. But Can a BIOS contain malware & virus? Can it damage your PC? Answered BIOS is an integrated program that controls various functions of your PC, including Windows, processors, GPU, RAMs, etc.
BIOS memory is stored on the ROM chip on your motherboard. It is difficult to infect such memories, but the viruses like rootkits virus may infect the BIOS and your computer’s framework. In addition, the malicious code present in the BIOS can allow attackers to remotely control your computer.
Can a BIOS contain malware & virus? Can it damage your PC?
If you download and run malicious software, open a malicious email attachment, or visit a malicious website, this could happen. These malicious files will lead to hardware component damage; as a result, your PC will face severe performance degradation.
BIOS virus can cause the following damages to your Computer:
1. Damage Personal Data:
The BIOS virus or malware can damage or delete files on your hard drive. It can take your controls to infect the data. The malware can also steal your personal information, like passwords or credit card numbers, from your computer.
2. Disturbs Computer Settings:
The BIOS malware can change your computer’s settings, leading to low PC performance. In addition, as it disturbs the firmware, it also disturbs all computer operations.
3. Reboot Errors:
Boot errors are the very first signs of a virus attack on BIOS. It prevents your computer from starting up properly, leading to several minutes delay.
4. Computer Performance Degradation:
BIOS virus always attaches to your firmware and damages the internal BIOS codes. It causes malfunctioning in the operating system leading to performance degradation.
5. Hardware Failure:
Viruses or malware can also damage your computer’s hardware. For example, it can erase the BIOS program stored in ROM (Read Only Memory). As a result, you may face permanent hardware failure.
How Can You Check if Your BIOS Have Malware or Virus?
The only way to find out if your BIOS has a virus is by scanning the hard drive. If the hard drive shows the bad sectors, you have to replace it immediately. If the scan results are the same after replacing the hard drive, these bad sectors are in your firmware and BIOS.
The other way to check is by using Anti-virus software for UEFI like Kaspersky Anti-Virus. These anti-virus applications show the potential virus type, so you can estimate their location. If the virus type is trojan, it will be in the system’s BIOS and firmware.
These viruses infect the computer during its boot process. The virus code is written in the Master Boot Record (MBR) of the hard drive. This code gets executed when the computer starts to boot and infects other executable files on the hard drive, including BIOS.
As a result, your computer’s performance slows down, and it may hang or crash frequently. These are the major signs that your BIOS is under attack from a virus.
Ways To Remove Virus or Malware from your corrupted BIOS
The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is a critical component of your computer that allows it to start up and initialize all of its hardware. Unfortunately, the BIOS can sometimes become corrupted, which can cause serious problems for your computer. If you think your BIOS may be infected with a virus or malware, here are some ways you can try to clean it:
1. By Using a BIOS Cleaning Utility:
Several BIOS cleaning utilities are available that can help you remove a virus or malware from your BIOS. However, many of these utilities are designed to be used from a bootable CD or USB drive. So, you may need to create one of these before proceeding.
2. By Default BIOS Settings:
You can try to default or reset your BIOS from the flash menu to remove the virus. There are a few different ways to reset your BIOS settings. One way is to use the BIOS menu to reset them to their default values. Another way is to use a special BIOS utility to restore the settings.
- In BIOS defaulting method, you have to access the BIOS and restore it to the factory settings.
- When you are in BIOS setup, there will be an option for “Load Default Settings.”
- Press the respective designated key and then press “Yes.” After a successful restart, all your BIOS settings will default.
3. By Using a virus scanner:
If you can’t access your BIOS or you’re not sure how to clean it, you can try using a virus scanner. A few different virus scanners are designed to scan and clean your BIOS. This software includes the ESET SysRescue, Kaspersky Rescue, Avast Rescue Disk, etc.
4. Keep Your BIOS Updated:
Updating your BIOS may also remove the virus from your BIOS. In addition, updating may remove all the previous temporary file settings from your firmware and install the latest updated files. The infected files will also be replaced with new and uninfected files in this process.
How Does BIOS Malware Work?
The BIOS malware is difficult to detect because it resides outside the operating system and runs at a very low level. As this malware is stored in your ROM, it is very difficult to remove it. It can be introduced into your system in various ways, such as:
1. Through Virus-Infected Websites:
Your BIOS may get the virus through a compromised website that uses browser vulnerabilities to install the malware on your system. These websites are designed to install malware on your system so that hackers can access your system easily. Avoid installing any unknown program from any website.
2. By Opening Malicious Email Attachments:
Many hackers use this emailing method to attack your computer system. Undoubtedly, Google has the best AI malware detection system, but these hackers have other ways. Don’t open, download or install any program from an unknown email source. These emails are often stored in the spamming folder, so avoid them.
3. Infected USB:
If hackers have attacked your or your friend’s computer, don’t try to copy any data from one computer to other using any USB or peripheral device. It may infect the USB and the other computer systems tooBy using infected removable media like USB drives.
Once the BIOS malware is installed, it can modify the BIOS settings to change the boot order of your system. It will allow the attacker to boot their operating system or a live CD/DVD and access your system.
Can virus change BIOS settings?
PC Virus has the ability to change your BIOS settings. It is one of the many ways that viruses can wreak havoc on your computer. If you suspect that a virus has changed your BIOS settings, you should take immediate action to fix the problem. Otherwise, your computer could be at risk for further damage.
Can hackers access your BIOS?
Hackers can access your BIOS and other computer applications if they have planted the virus. It is not easy to access the firmware of any computer remotely, as it needs expert-level skills to execute the process. Hackers first access your operating system, and then they access the BIOS.
According to research, millions of computers are vulnerable to the BIOS malware attack. More than 80% of the computer systems were vulnerable to attacks in their experiment. They also declared that it’s just a two-minute process to get into such a PC and spread the malware.
Can a virus destroy a motherboard?
The virus creates the bad sector files into the hard drive and ROM, leading to the Motherboard damage. The hard drive head tries to scan these files and try various times. It damages its functioning by infecting the operating system that resides in your hard drive.
BIOS is installed on the ROM, which is solder on your motherboard. It is undetachable like other hardware. When the BIOS is affected, your ROM also gets affected. A virus degrades the performance; as a result, the component faces stress.
It is not easy to remove a virus from a motherboard, as it is difficult to access the device’s firmware. If the virus has infected the system’s BIOS, then it can take complete control of the machine and damage important system files.
In some cases, the virus can even delete the entire BIOS, rendering the motherboard useless. So, it is important to be very careful while downloading files from unknown sources and always keep your system updated with the latest security patches.
If your PC is infected with the BIOS virus, it will lead to component damage. There are several ways to clean your BIOS, including using a BIOS cleaning utility, resetting your BIOS to default settings, or using a virus scanner. You should also keep your BIOS updated to avoid any future infections.