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Can one use Tail, to bypass any of the following potential attack vectors? There are five potential attack vectors:

Malware on the disk within a partition.
Malware within the boot sector.
Malformed partition or filesystem structures that exploit bugs in the OS 
Malware within disk firmware.
Modified hardware (e.g. replace the firmware PROM with mask ROM containing malware and/or
implant hardware keylogger device in keyboard) 

How far Tails can take us if one download it from Tails site and verify the signature?

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It is possible that the malware has infected the computer's BIOS or other firmware and then any usage of that machine is compromised.

If you boot from a CDROM with a burned copy of Tails, you should be safe from any malware that remains on the disk and/or is dependant on non-Linux operating systems.

  • Dear Ivar, would you elaborate on the following: 1. Does USB instead of CD have a similar effect? 2. Does last attack vector is also taken care of? – Roya Feb 6 '14 at 18:33
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    1) if you plug in a USB stick into powered off computer, then boot to USB, you should have the same level of safety as booting from CDrom. As for 2) I do not understand your question. – Ivar Feb 6 '14 at 20:54
  • Dear Ivar, Modified hardware (e.g. replace the firmware PROM with mask ROM containing malware), I mean somebody modify the hardware of the computer system to gain access to the system – Roya Feb 6 '14 at 21:09
  • Another example of hardware modification is implanting hardware keylogger device in the keyboard and a transmitter to send the information out. – Roya Feb 7 '14 at 12:17
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    Tails (or any other software / operating system) will not protect you from hardware based keyloggers if you use the keyboard. However, Tails does provide an option to use an onscreen keyboard - which allows a user to click the characters using a mouse (or other input peripheral) rendering keyloggers ineffective. – Ivar Feb 7 '14 at 18:06

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