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Re: OT: what BIOS options are accessible (r/w) from the OS?

On Sun, Dec 22, 2002 at 10:23:42PM +0100, Timo --Blazko-- Boewing wrote:
> Hello Debian users!
> I marked this posting as OT cos i do not know if it right here.
> What i want to do: i have a gateway already and plan to do weekly
> backups of my client PCs on a dedicated hard drive.
> Due to a question of price, i ask myself if it is okay to plug just a
> second HDD into the gateway and deactivate the HDD from the BIOS.

Why do you want to disable it?  To prevent people accessing it?

> So, if want to make a backup, i boot my box w/ activated 2nd HDD and
> do an rsync.


> My question: is it possible (e.g. by hackers etc.) to activate a HDD
> by the operating system? I hope it is not!
> I am using Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (woody).

I'm fairly sure that the kernel ignores what the BIOS thinks about disk
drives, i.e. disabling it in the BIOS will not affect your system at
all, it'll still show up...

> Btw.: i know, while doing the backup it is vulnerable if i am online.

Of course.

> Btw.: what BIOS options can an OS read/set in general?

Give enough knowledge, root on your machine can set/read any option in
your BIOS.

Disabling the drive is either pointless or impossible, depending on how
you look at it.  Just secure your system as best you can, and try to
keep down the number of things running as root.  Just unmount the disk
when you're not using it, and no one without root will be able to touch
it.  Of course, if someone gets root, they can do anything to your
machine, up to and including mounting drives, erasing files, installing
trojans, sniffing your network, DOS'ing other people, eating your lunch
and poking your cat with a stick :-)


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