2022 archived version go to actual version

Hunting and Reversing UEFI Firmware Implants

4000€ | 10th to 13th of October 2022 | Espace Vinci, Rue des Jeuneurs, Paris, France

This 4-day course introduces students to real-world attack scenarios on devices powered by UEFI firmware. The course starts from low-level internals of modern operating systems boot process from the perspective of a security researcher interested in bootkits analysis, detection/forensics and vulnerability research. After the OS boot process, the course going down to the firmware, and discuss UEFI architecture and internals with focus on security researcher needs (include common vulnerabilities and design mistakes). The second part of the course focused on UEFI firmware implants (from hardware and firmware perspective), it's cover threat modeling, attack surface, forensics, and reverse engineering. The course will build a mindset for hunting unknown firmware threats include the supply chain perspective.

Objectives of the training

Learn about modern OS boot process and bootkits

Discover how UEFI is implemented and how to reverse engineer it

Understand how to hunt for bootkits by dissecting some

The trainer

Who will run this training?



Alex Matrosov is CEO and Founder of Binarly Inc. where he builds an AI-powered platform to protect devices against emerging firmware threats. Alex has more than two decades of experience with reverse engineering, advanced malware analysis, firmware security, and exploitation techniques. He served as Chief Offensive Security Researcher at Nvidia and Intel Security Center of Excellence (SeCoE). Alex is the author of numerous research papers and the bestselling award-winning book Rootkits and Bootkits: Reversing Modern Malware and Next Generation Threats. He is a frequently invited speaker at security conferences, such as REcon, Black Hat, Offensivecon, WOOT, DEF CON, and many others. Additionally, he was awarded multiple times by Hex-Rays for his open-source contributions to the research community.


What will we do?

Students will learn about UEFI internals from different perspectives such as firmware implant developer, malware and vulnerability researcher over the course. After the course, students will have knowledge about common firmware attacks, exploits, security feature bypasses and architectural mistakes in the firmware development process which can potentially lead successful implant installation. During the course, most part of exercises based on hardware-based challenges specially created to have the same environment as in real life.

Topics covered

Common UEFI firmware vulnerabilities which leads implant installation Hunt for implants with common tools (UEFItool, Chipsec, RWEverything) Reverse engineering UEFI drivers DXE/PEI (include QEMU automation tricks, idapython and custom plugins) Forensic approaches for UEFI (include firmware acquisition with software and hardware tools (GreatFET, DediProg)) Common security configuration mistakes and supply chain risk model

Classes Outline

  • Day 1: digging down to the firmware Modern OS boot process internals and reversing Legacy bootkits case study, deep dive too boot sectors (MBR/VBR) Evolution of bootkits, mess with OS bootloaders (MS Win10) Introduction to UEFI world from security challenges perspective

  • Day 2: deep dive into UEFI internals Connection points between UEFI and OS (UEFI System/Runtime Services, ACPI, HW ports) UEFI firmware boot process, hardware relations and where security features get enabled Different shades of UEFI Secure Boot Intel Boot/BIOS Guards and where implementation fails UEFI firmware update process from OS and UEFI shell Introduction to UEFI firmware implants

  • Day 3: dissecting UEFI implants Types and classification for UEFI firmware/hardware implants Creating threat model/attack surface from implant installation perspective Difference from implant perspective between UEFI firmware vendors Coreboot and AMI/Phoenix/Insyde Playing with IDA and Ghidra to understand implant behavioral and nature Hunt implants in real-world environment Introduction to common hardware and firmware supply-chain risks models Dissecting supply chain problems on real-world hardware

  • Day 4: advanced UEFI RE techniques Digging deeper into IDA and Ghidra code REconstruction specifics with UEFI flavor REconstructing UEFI protocols and creating behavioral models Creating effective Yara rules for implants detection Understanding the impact from firmware implants RE RE automation for UEFI implants hunting (professional tricks)


The relative breakdown of the course materials is as follows:

  • 40% Lecture
  • 50% Lab
  • 10% Discussion


Students bring x86 laptop with approximately 15GB of free space. A variety of (Python-based) tools will be installed and used, which can run on Linux and Windows. VMWare image will be provided which has all tools installed, but students are free to directly install the tools on their own computer. Students are encouraged to bring a computer with VMWare Workstation already installed to reduce setup time.


Students should have prior experience in reverse engineering and familiar with malware analysis techniques.

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