Security of BIOS/UEFI System Firmware from Attacker's and Defender's Perspective

Instructors: Yuriy Bulygin, Oleksandr Bazhaniuk, Andrew Furtak and John Loucaides
Dates: 16-18 June 2015
Capacity: 20

A variety of attacks targeting system firmware have been discussed publicly, drawing attention to the pre-boot and firmware components of the platform such as BIOS and SMM, OS loaders and secure booting. This training will detail and organize objectives, attack vectors, vulnerabilities and exploits against various types of system firmware such as legacy BIOS, SMI handlers and UEFI based firmware, mitigations as well as tools and methods available to analyze security of such firmware components. It will also detail protections available in hardware and in firmware such as Secure Boot implemented by modern OSes against bootkits.

The training includes theoretical material describing a structured approach to system firmware security analysis and mitigations as well as many hands-on exercises to test system firmware for vulnerabilities. After the training you should have basic understanding of platform hardware components and various types of system firmware, security objectives and attacks against system firmware, mitigations available in hardware and firmware. You should be able to apply this knowledge in practice to identify vulnerabilities in BIOS and perform forensic analysis of the firmware.


Who should attend?

IT security professionals or anyone interested in understanding and assessing security of system firmware including BIOS and UEFI based firmware.

Class Requirements


Required Hardware:

Students will be provided with bootable Linux and UEFI shell USB thumb drives with all tools and materials used in the training.


Yuriy Bulygin is chief threat researcher at Intel Security where he is leading the Advanced Threat Research team in identifying and analyzing new threats impacting modern platforms and researching mitigations in hardware and software against these threats. He joined Intel's Security Center of Excellence in 2006, where he was responsible for conducting security analysis and penetration testing of microprocessors, chipsets, graphics, and various other components, firmware, and technologies on Intel PCs, servers, and mobile devices.

Oleksandr Bazhaniuk is a security researcher in the Advanced Threat Research team. His primary interests are low-level hardware security, bios/uefi security, and automation of binary vulnerability analysis. His work has been presented at conferences, including Black Hat USA, Hack In The Box, Hackito Ergo Sum, Positive Hack Days, Toorcon, CanSecWest. He is also a co-founder of DCUA, the first DefCon group in Ukraine.

Andrew Furtak is a security researcher focusing on security analysis of firmware and hardware of modern computing platforms. He was previously a security software engineer. Andrew holds a MS in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

John Loucaides is a security researcher who is currently focusing on responding to platform security issues. He has performed security analysis for a wide variety of targets from embedded systems to enterprise networks, developing repeatable methods for improving assurance.

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