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A bootkit is a type of malware that targets a hard disk’s boot sectors, mainly the Master Boot Record (MBR) and the Volume Boot Record (VBR). Bootkits are advanced versions of rootkit designed to infect the booting process of a computer and be executed before loading the system’s operating system, modifying system drivers and code before the system’s security components can be loaded. Bootkits reside outside the standard file system, allowing them to be active in the system’s internal memory from the kernel mode, both during the bootup process and the computer’s active state.

The boot phase is a critical phase that initializes the hardware and launches the operating system. Bootkits target this crucial phase resulting in system instability or the inability to launch the operating system. Such system infiltrations, however, often go unnoticed as bootkits reside outside the operating system files and cannot be detected by standard anti-malware programs. Several types of bootkits follow different pathways in the system like attacks on bootloader or kernel management files, drivers and firmware, but modifying MBR and VBR boot code in BIOS modules is more common as these sectors lack cryptographic signature.

To avoid compromising device integrity, always use Trusted Platform Module (TPM) technologies and a stable or trusted boot procedure. Ensure enough credentials are able to help prevent the opponent from accessing the restricted accounts required to set up a bootkit. AttackSolutions perform MBR and VBR integrity checks frequently. AttackSolutions take MBR and VBR snapshots and get those compared with good specimens known to us. We also track modifications to MBR and VBR for suspicious transaction indications and further reviews are done by AttackSolution’s technical experts. AttackSolutions also provide training to system admins on how to manage and maintain the network against Bootkit.


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