Security vendor MacAfee has released a report that predicts the creation of hardware-targeted malware by hackers due to increased security in Windows 8.
Higher Security On Windows 8 Might Mean Higher Malware Threats
It seem as though the digital universe is witnessing its own version of the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ scenario. According to security experts at MacAfee, the heightened security devices of Windows 8 such as gesture based login and secure booting (UEFI hardened boot feature), might make hackers revert to malware to achieve their malicious ends.
The theory, in simple words, is with the login process becoming almost impossible to crack (according to Microsoft) the hackers might decide to give up on it and use malware that directly targets the hardware instead. Since the software is so well protected, hackers are apparently likely to try utilizing low-level methods instead.
In the computer world, low-level stands for techniques and codes that are understandable by the machine directly. The boot environment is a common and recognizable example of a low level scenario. Several malware in the past have tried and corrupted the boot process to create hidden backdoors (hence the name Trojan from the Trojan Horse) into the system These access points are then stealthily used by the hackers who take control of your computer. Once they have acquired a vast number of such computers, they create what is known as a ‘botnet’. A botnet is a network of zombie computers that are at the hacker’s mercy. Using this network he can launch denial of service attacks on high value websites (to extort money from them) or he can simply send out spam messages to millions of people.
So the risk here is now transferred to manufacturers of firmware and hardware if the MacAfee prediction does come true. However, as the owner of the system, it is also up to the user to take appropriate measures and install updates and stay away from suspect material such as pirated software.