Symantec's security researchers found proof of a new concept virus that targets AMD processors rather than operating systems.
The worm comes in two versions, targeting 32-bit and 64-bit processors from AMD. Symantec refers to the online pests as w32.bounds and w64.bounds. Because it involves proof of concept code, both viruses are rated as low level threats.
Although at this point it concerns harmless proof of concept code, the virus could be used as a starting point for creating malware that affects computers regardless of the operating system that they run, cautioned Vincent Weafer, senior director of Symantec's Security Response Group.
"If I can get to the processor level, potentially I can really start tying myself into the core hardware. I can potentially evade some of the kernel protection and user protection. There is an attraction to virus writers to get to the lowest level possible," Weafer told vnunet.com.