Can Virus Damage Hardware on Your Computer?

Can Virus Damage Hardware on Your Computer?

Whether or not a virus can damage hardware on your computer depends on what it is doing. Generally, a virus can do damage to your hardware if it corrupts the hard drive, if it corrupts your firmware, if it causes your computer to become air-gapped, or if it causes disk thrashing.

Disk thrashing

Thrashing in memory occurs when too many page faults occur in a short period of time. Too many page faults cause the CPU to do no useful work and cause a drop in system throughput.

During thrashing, a large working set causes the operating system to spend a lot of time exchanging pages with the hard drive. This can make the system unusable. Thrashes can also be a result of improperly configured swap files.

The impact of thrashing is particularly strong in Windows and Linux. These systems use a global frames replacement algorithm. However, FreeBSD has a management mechanism that keeps processes calm during thrashing.

This study evaluates the responsiveness of commodity desktop operating systems under thrashing conditions. The paper identifies performance data on memory management in each system and a portable benchmark tool that can bring the system into a thrashing state.

Firmware corruption

Whether you are using an internal or external hard drive, a corrupted firmware can cause many problems. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms and possible solutions to a hard drive with a bad firmware.

The first thing you should do if you are experiencing a drive malfunction is to check your BIOS. Some motherboards offer a backup BIOS that can be used to re-flash a faulty BIOS. If your motherboard does not have a backup BIOS, you may need to consider replacing the motherboard.

If you are seeing a blank hard drive or an inaccessible drive in Windows, this could indicate a problem with your firmware. A “not initialized” error can also signal a problem with your drive’s firmware.

A damaged firmware will prevent your device from operating properly, causing your data to be corrupted. To retrieve your data, you will need specialized equipment and knowledge.


Unlike other malware, Stuxnet was designed to be destructive to hardware, instead of just infecting other computers. This is one of the more plausible reasons for its success.

In its simplest form, Stuxnet is a computer virus that wormed its way into the industrial control systems of nuclear plants. It disabled safety controls and prevented system alerts. The malware was able to overheat parts and cause some of the equipment to implode, thereby causing physical damage.

The worm’s main purpose was to disable centrifuges in the Iranian nuclear facility, thereby delaying the country’s uranium enrichment program. According to Iran’s officials, the attack caused minimal damage to the country’s nuclear program, but the effects could be long-lasting.

It is believed that Stuxnet was designed by Israeli and American defense forces to disrupt the Iranian nuclear development program. It is likely that the creators will remain unknown for the foreseeable future, but the worm has been praised by many observers as the first digital weapon of its kind.

Air-gapped computers

Viruses can damage air-gapped computers by stealing data, sending out cryptic messages and other nefarious activities. However, there are several ways to protect a computer from infection. Using physical security and countermeasures is a good first step.

One way to defend a computer is to disable the wireless interface controller. This prevents attackers from gaining access to the Internet. Another is to use a USB port lock to block the port.

Another approach is to create a Faraday cage to shield a sensitive system from external attacks. The Brutal Kangaroo malware, a CIA creation, creates a covert network for exchanging data.

A third approach is to snare an air-gapped computer by installing malware on a USB drive. The Stuxnet worm, an example of this type of attack, is believed to have been spread through infected USB drives plugged into air-gapped machines on a network.

DRAM rowhammer bug

During the process of manufacturing DRAM, a bug has been discovered that can damage hardware. This bug is called rowhammer bug and it can damage hardware by exposing sensitive data stored in memory to corruption.

The rowhammer bug is a bug in the DRAM architecture that allows an attacker to read a memory location repeatedly. This causes the cell’s value to change. As a result, bit flips occur. The attacker can either read the data directly or read the data from a cache.

This bug is exploited in many different environments and platforms. It can also be used in system-level attacks, which grant the attacker full control over the targeted machine.

The rowhammer bug can cause electrical and mechanical disturbances in the target system. It can also degrade performance. In addition, it is a security issue because it breaks memory isolation between processes.