Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Microsoft 'Encryption' and Intel 'Security'

Filed under
Microsoft
Security
  • You Can’t Trust BitLocker to Encrypt Your SSD on Windows 10 [Ed: Actually, it has long been known that Microsoft's BitLocker has NSA back doors. Even Microsoft staff spoke about it. It's for fools.]

    Some SSDs advertise support for “hardware encryption.” If you enable BitLocker on Windows, Microsoft trusts your SSD and doesn’t do anything. But researchers have found that many SSDs are doing a terrible job, which means BitLocker isn’t providing secure encryption.

  • Flaws in self-encrypting SSDs let attackers bypass disk encryption

    Researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands have revealed today vulnerabilities in some solid-state drives (SSDs) that allow an attacker to bypass the disk encryption feature and access the local data without knowing the user-chosen disk encryption password.

    The vulnerabilities only affect SSD models that support hardware-based encryption, where the disk encryption operations are carried out via a local built-in chip, separate from the main CPU.

    Such devices are also known as self-encrypting drives (SEDs) and have become popular in recent years after software-level full disk encryption was proven vulnerable to attacks where intruders would steal the encryption password from the computer's RAM.

  • New Intel CPU Flaw Exploits Hyper-Threading to Steal Encrypted Data

    A team of security researchers has discovered another serious side-channel vulnerability in Intel CPUs that could allow an attacker to sniff out sensitive protected data, like passwords and cryptographic keys, from other processes running in the same CPU core with simultaneous multi-threading feature enabled.

    The vulnerability, codenamed PortSmash (CVE-2018-5407), has joined the list of other dangerous side-channel vulnerabilities discovered in the past year, including Meltdown and Spectre, TLBleed, and Foreshadow.

Windows BitLocker back doors (several of them) exacerbated

  • Flaw In SSDs Allows Hackers To Access Encrypted Data Without Password

    However, the issue runs deeper. Windows users are more risk-prone as the Windows BitLocker, a software-level full disk encryption system of Windows OS does not encrypt the users’ data at the software level upon detecting a device capable of hardware-based encryption.

    The researchers have recommended the SED users to use software-level full disk encryption systems such as VeraCrypt to protect their data.

"Microsoft for defaulting to using these broken encryption"

  • Researchers expose 'critical vulnerabilities' in SSD encryption

    After considering a handful of possible flaws in hardware-based full-disk encryption, or self-encrypting drives (SEDs), the pair reverse-engineered the firmware of a sample of SSDs and tried to expose these vulnerabilities.

    They learned that hackers can launch a range of attacks, from seizing full control of the CPU to corrupting memory - outlining their findings in a paper titled 'self-encrypting deception: weakness in the encryption of solid state drives (SSDs)'.

    There are a host of exploits that can be used, such as cracking master passwords, set by the manufacturer as a factory default. These are routinely found in many SSDs, and if obtained by an attacker could allow them to bypass any custom password set by a user.

  • Crucial and Samsung SSDs' Encryption Is Easily Bypassed

    Researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands reported today their discovery that hackers could easily bypass the encryption on Crucial and Samsung SSDs without the user’s passwords. The researchers also pointed at Microsoft for defaulting to using these broken encryption schemes on modern drives.

    The Dutch researchers reverse-engineered the firmware of multiple drives and found a “pattern of critical issues." In one case, the drive’s master password used to decrypt data was just an empty string, which means someone would have been able to decrypt it by just pressing the Enter key on their keyboard. In another case, the researchers said the drive could be unlocked with “any password” because the drive’s password validation checks didn’t work.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 19.10 Puts Nvidia's Proprietary GPU Driver Right On The ISO

In Ubuntu 19.04, Canonical introduced the ability to download Nvidia's propriety graphics driver during the OS installation process (provided the user has an internet connection). That was a welcome step toward making gaming more accessible for newcomers. With the upcoming Ubuntu 19.10, however, Canonical is following in the footsteps of System76's Pop!_OS and slapping Nvidia's driver (both 390 and 418) right onto the ISO. Phoronix spotted the update via Ubuntu's Launchpad platform. What this means is that users can have the proprietary Nvidia driver -- a better option for gaming compared to the open source "Nouveau" driver -- ready to go at first boot. They also have the option to install the Nvidia binary at any point in the future without needing to add or activate a repository or download the driver. Read more

Benchmarking AMD FX vs. Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPUs Following Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF, Zombieload

Now with MDS / Zombieload being public and seeing a 8~10% performance hit in the affected workloads as a result of the new mitigations to these Microarchitectural Data Sampling vulnerabilities, what's the overall performance look like now if going back to the days of AMD FX Vishera and Intel Sandybridge/Ivybridge processors? If Spectre, Meltdown, L1TF/Foreshadow, and now Zombieload had come to light years ago would it have shaken that pivotal point in the industry? Here are benchmarks looking at the the performance today with and without the mitigations to the known CPU vulnerabilities to date. As I've already delivered many benchmarks of these mitigations (including MDS/Zombieload) on newer CPUs, for this article we're looking at older AMD FX CPUs with their relevant Spectre mitigations against Intel Sandybridge and Ivybridge with the Spectre/Meltdown/L1TF/MDS mitigations. Tests were done on Ubuntu 19.04 with the Linux 5.0 kernel while toggling the mitigation levels of off (no coverage) / auto (the default / out-of-the-box mitigations used on all major Linux distributions for the default protections) / auto,nosmt (the more restricted level that also disables SMT / Hyper Threading). The AMD CPUs were tested with off/auto as in the "auto,nosmt" mode it doesn't disable any SMT as it doesn't deem it insecure on AMD platforms. Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • Zombieload, Nextcloud, Peppermint 10, KDE Plasma, IPFire, ArcoLinux, LuneOS | This Week in Linux 67
    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ll check out some Distro News from Peppermint OS, ArcoLinux, LuneOS & IPFire. We got a couple apps to talking about like Nextclou0…d and a new Wallpaper tool that has quite a bit of potential. We’ll take a look at what is to come with the next version of KDE Plasma. Intel users have gotten some more bad news regarding a new security vulnerability. Later in the show, we’ll cover some interesting information regarding a couple governments saving money by switching to Linux. Then finally we’ll check out some Linux Gaming News. All that and much more on your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S12E07 – R-Type
    This week we’ve been installing Lineage on a OnePlus One and not migrating Mastodon accounts to ubuntu.social. We round up the Ubuntu community news from Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Peppermint OS and we discuss some tech news. It’s Season 12 Episode 07 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • OpenGL 4.6 / SPIR-V Support Might Be Inching Closer For Mesa Drivers
    We're quickly approaching the two year anniversary of the OpenGL 4.6 release and it's looking like the Intel/RadeonSI drivers might be inching towards the finish line for that latest major revision of the graphics API.  As we've covered many times, the Mesa drivers have been held up on OpenGL 4.6 support due to their SPIR-V ingestion support mandated by this July 2017 version of the OpenGL specification. While there are the Intel and Radeon RADV Vulkan drivers already with the SPIR-V support that is central to Vulkan, it's taken a long time re-fitting the OpenGL drivers for the likes of ARB_gl_spriv. Then again, there aren't many (actually, any?) major OpenGL games requiring version 4.6 of the specification even with its interoperability benefits thanks to SPIR-V.