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A previously unknown rootkit has been found setting its sights on Hewlett-Packard Enterprise’s Integrated Lights-Out (iLO) server management technology to carry out in-the-wild attacks that tamper with the firmware modules and completely wipe data off the infected systems.

The discovery, which is the first instance of real-world malware in iLO firmware, was documented by Iranian cybersecurity firm Amnpardaz this week.

“There are numerous aspects of iLO that make it an ideal utopia for malware and APT groups: Extremely high privileges (above any level of access in the operating system), very low-level access to the hardware, being totally out of the sight of the admins, and security tools, the general lack of knowledge and tools for inspecting iLO and/or protecting it, the persistence it provides for the malware to remain even after changing the operating system, and in particular being always running and never shutting down,” the researchers¬†said.

Besides managing the servers, the fact that iLO modules have broad access to all the firmware, hardware, software, and operating system (OS) installed on the servers make them an ideal candidate to breach organizations using HP servers, while also enabling the malware to maintain persistence after reboots and survive OS reinstallations. However, the exact modus operandi used to infiltrate the network infrastructure and deploy the wiper remains unknown as yet.

images from Hacker News