PC owners have been cautioned about a new threat to their PCs known as “Thunderspy”. This potentially fatal flaw for your computer was discovered by the team at Eindhoven University who found that Thunderbolt ports, which are commonly found on a huge number of devices, could allow hackers instant access to everything available on your hard drive.
The attack can take place when the device is locked and password protected – making it a very serious threat for anyone with sensitive data on their PCs.
Explaining more, Björn Ruytenberg of the Eindhoven University said: “If your computer has such a port, an attacker who gets brief physical access to it can read and copy all your data, even if your drive is encrypted and your computer is locked or set to sleep.
“Thunderspy is stealth, meaning that you cannot find any traces of the attack. It does not require your involvement, i.e., there is no phishing link or malicious piece of hardware that the attacker tricks you into using. Thunderspy works even if you follow best security practices by locking or suspending your computer when leaving briefly”
Now Microsoft has revealed that it’s aware of the threat and users should be on high alert if they own an older laptop or desktop PC. In a post on its site, Microsoft confirmed that Thunderspy targets devices with a Thunderbolt port. If your computer has such a port, an attacker who gets brief physical access to it can read and copy all your data, even if your drive is encrypted and your computer is locked or set to sleep.
It’s worth noting that to attack a PC the hacker needs full access to the physical machine as it can’t be breached remotely. So, if you keep your laptop under your watchful eye at all times – it should be fine.
However, if you are concerned then there is a simple but pretty expensive fix.
The laptop market has a growing portfolio of Secured-core PCs which provide a consistent guarantee against modern threats like Thunderspy.
These machines are mainly targeted at business users who may have sensitive data and files on their machines but consumers may also want to consider upgrading depending on what is stored on their machines.
Secured-core PCs use hardware rooted security in the modern CPU to launch the system into a trusted state, preventing advanced malware from tampering with the system and attacking at the firmware level.
Secured-core PCs are the most secure Windows 10 devices out-of-the-box with integrated hardware, firmware, software, and identity protection. There’s numerous laptops available from a number of different laptop makers with pricing starting from around £1,000.
Microsoft has a dedicated webpage with all devices that feature this technology available to view online.
Published at Tue, 19 May 2020 06:11:00 +0000