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Model A1419 / EMC 3070 / Mid 2017 / 3.4, 3.5 or 3.8 GHz Core i5 or 4.2 GHz Core i7 Kaby Lake Processor (ID iMac18,3) / Retina 5K display. Refer to the older iMac Intel 27" Retina 5K Display (Late 2014 & 2015) guides as the system is very similar.

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Can Malware/Virus Lock Set a Firmware Password


I think I already know the answer to this questions, however I’ve been given a 2017 iMac with a Firmware Password set won't boot up at all (just showing the Firmware Password Lock). The previous owner is convinced that they have been “Hacked” and the Malware has Set the Password. As far as I’m aware, you can’t set the Firmware Password from within the OS. I’d could see a drive Encryption happening but not a Firmware Utility Password.

However the Mac won’t boot up, so it’s starting to puzzle me. As Firmware Passwords wouldn’t lock the Boot Drive, would they?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I’m thinking of just swapping the EFI chip, would this work?

Many thanks

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The previous owner was not the real owner! The hardware password is not settable remotely. It must be keyed in via the keyboard and can't be altered via a trojan or malware.


Andy, thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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Firmware isn’t normally programmed through the OS of the device that runs it, but before it loads. I doubt that a virus did this. But anything like a password set by the user that can be programmed through a device’s hardware before the user’s OS loads can become damaged. It could be a simple as one bit of data stored data being bad because of a failed cell or a static discharge.

There must be a way to physically reinitialize its BIOS to the factory settings or remove power from the chip that stores the password. The danger of doing this is that if the drive is encrypted, you may lose access to the encrypted contents of the drive.

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Andy será eternamente grato(a).
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