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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
New Cold Boot Attack Unlocks Disk Encryption On Nearly All Modern PCs

New Cold Boot Attack Unlocks Disk Encryption On Nearly All Modern PCs

September 13, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers have revealed a new attack to steal passwords, encryption keys and other sensitive information stored on most modern computers, even those with full disk encryption. The attack is a new variation of a traditional Cold Boot Attack , which is around since 2008 and lets attackers steal information that briefly remains in the memory (RAM) after the computer is shut down. However, to make the cold boot attacks less effective, most modern computers come bundled with a safeguard, created by the Trusted Computing Group (TCG), that overwrites the contents of the RAM when the power on the device is restored, preventing the data from being read. Now, researchers from Finnish cyber-security firm F-Secure figured out a new way to disable this overwrite security measure by physically manipulating the computer's firmware, potentially allowing attackers to recover sensitive data stored on the computer after a cold reboot in a matter of few minutes. "Cold boot
Apple macOS Bug Reveals Cache of Sensitive Data from Encrypted Drives

Apple macOS Bug Reveals Cache of Sensitive Data from Encrypted Drives

June 18, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Security researchers are warning of almost a decade old issue with one of the Apple's macOS feature which was designed for users' convenience but is potentially exposing the contents of files stored on password-protected encrypted drives. Earlier this month, security researcher Wojciech Regula from SecuRing published a blog post , about the "Quick Look" feature in macOS that helps users preview photos, documents files, or a folder without opening them. Regula explained that Quick Look feature generates thumbnails for each file/folder, giving users a convenient way to evaluate files before they open them. However, these cached thumbnails are stored on the computer's non-encrypted hard drive, at a known and unprotected location, even if those files/folders belong to an encrypted container, eventually revealing some of the content stored on encrypted drives. Patrick Wardle, chief research officer at Digital Security, equally shared the concern, saying tha
How to Hack Apple Mac Encryption Password in Just 30 Seconds

How to Hack Apple Mac Encryption Password in Just 30 Seconds

December 16, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Macintosh computers are often considered to be safer than those running Windows operating system, but a recently discovered attack technique proves it all wrong. All an attacker needs is a $300 device to seize full control of your Mac or MacBook. Swedish hacker and penetration tester Ulf Frisk has developed a new device that can steal the password from virtually any Mac laptop while it is sleeping or even locked in just 30 seconds, allowing hackers to unlock any Mac computer and even decrypt the files on its hard drive. So, next time when you leave your Apple's laptop unattended, be sure to shut it down completely rather than just putting the system in sleep mode or locked. Here's How an Attacker can steal your Mac FileVault2 Password The researcher devised this technique by exploiting two designing flaws he discovered last July in Apple's FileVault2 full-disk encryption software. The first issue is that the Mac system does not protect itself against Direc
VeraCrypt Audit Reveals Critical Security Flaws — Update Now

VeraCrypt Audit Reveals Critical Security Flaws — Update Now

October 18, 2016Mohit Kumar
After TrueCrypt mysteriously discontinued its service, VeraCrypt became the most popular open source disk encryption software used by activists, journalists, as well as privacy conscious people. First of all, there is no such thing as a perfect, bug-free software. Even the most rigorously tested software, like the ones that operate SCADA Systems, medical devices, and aviation software, have flaws. Vulnerabilities are an unfortunate reality for every software product, but there is always space for improvements. Due to the enormous popularity of VeraCrypt, security researchers from the OSTIF (The Open Source Technology Improvement Fund) agreed to audit VeraCrypt independently and hired researchers from QuarksLab in August to lead the audit. And it seems like VeraCrypt is not exactly flawless either. Now after one month of the audit, researchers have discovered a number of security issues, including 8 critical, 3 medium, and 15 low-severity vulnerabilities in the popular
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