18.8.14.1 (L1) Ensure 'Boot-Start Driver Initialization Policy' is set to 'Enabled: Good, unknown and bad but critical'

Information

This policy setting allows you to specify which boot-start drivers are initialized based on a classification determined by an Early Launch Antimalware boot-start driver. The Early Launch Antimalware boot-start driver can return the following classifications for each boot-start driver:
- Good: The driver has been signed and has not been tampered with.
- Bad: The driver has been identified as malware. It is recommended that you do not allow known bad drivers to be initialized.
- Bad, but required for boot: The driver has been identified as malware, but the computer cannot successfully boot without loading this driver.
- Unknown: This driver has not been attested to by your malware detection application and has not been classified by the Early Launch Antimalware boot-start driver.
If you enable this policy setting you will be able to choose which boot-start drivers to initialize the next time the computer is started.
If your malware detection application does not include an Early Launch Antimalware boot-start driver or if your Early Launch Antimalware boot-start driver has been disabled, this setting has no effect and all boot-start drivers are initialized.
The recommended state for this setting is: Enabled: Good, unknown and bad but critical.

Rationale:
This policy setting helps reduce the impact of malware that has already infected your system.

Solution

To establish the recommended configuration via GP, set the following UI path to Enabled: Good, unknown and bad but critical:
Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Early Launch Antimalware\Boot-Start Driver Initialization Policy
Note: This Group Policy path may not exist by default. It is provided by the Group Policy template EarlyLaunchAM.admx/adml that is included with the Microsoft Windows 8.0 & Server 2012 (non-R2) Administrative Templates (or newer).

Impact:
None - this is the default behavior.

Default Value:
Disabled. (Boot-start drivers determined to be Good, Unknown or Bad but Boot Critical are initialized and the initialization of drivers determined to be bad is skipped.)

References:
1. CCE-33231-2

See Also

https://workbench.cisecurity.org/files/2754

Item Details

Category: SYSTEM AND INFORMATION INTEGRITY

References: 800-53|SI-3, CSCv6|8, CSCv7|8.1, CSCv7|8.2

Plugin: Windows

Control ID: 49e51c098e59bb6c5fa62000840ee5c14618c48ef6d73e9a6d460e76ac912e06