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Flaws in Popular Self-Encrypting SSDs Let Attackers Decrypt Data

Flaws in Popular Self-Encrypting SSDs Let Attackers Decrypt Data

November 06, 2018Swati Khandelwal
We all have something to hide, something to protect. But if you are also relying on self-encrypting drives for that, then you should read this news carefully. Security researchers have discovered multiple critical vulnerabilities in some of the popular self-encrypting solid state drives (SSD) that could allow an attacker to decrypt disk encryption and recover protected data without knowing the password for the disk. The researchers—Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel—at Radboud University in the Netherlands reverse engineered the firmware several SSDs that offer hardware full-disk encryption to identify several issues and detailed their findings in a new paper ( PDF ) published Monday. "The analysis uncovers a pattern of critical issues across vendors. For multiple models, it is possible to bypass the encryption entirely, allowing for a complete recovery of the data without any knowledge of passwords or keys," the researchers say. The duo successfully tested their
Attackers Can Use Sonic and Ultrasonic Signals to Crash Hard Drives

Attackers Can Use Sonic and Ultrasonic Signals to Crash Hard Drives

May 31, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Researchers have demonstrated how sonic and ultrasonic signals (inaudible to human) can be used to cause physical damage to hard drives just by playing ultrasonic sounds through a target computer's own built-in speaker or by exploiting a speaker near the targeted device. Similar research was conducted last year by a group of researchers from Princeton and Purdue University, who demonstrated a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against HDDs by exploiting a physical phenomenon called acoustic resonance. Since HDDs are exposed to external vibrations, researchers showed how specially crafted acoustic signals could cause significant vibrations in HDDs internal components, which eventually leads to the failure in systems that relies on the HDD. To prevent a head crash from acoustic resonance, modern HDDs use shock sensor-driven feedforward controllers that detect such movement and improve the head positioning accuracy while reading and writing the data. However, according to a ne
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