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Self-encrypting hard drives do not adequately protect data

Vulnerability Note VU#395981

Original Release Date: 2018-11-06 | Last Revised: 2019-05-21

Overview

There are multiple vulnerabilities in implementations of ATA Security or TCG Opal Standards in Self-Encrypting Disks (SEDs), which can allow an attacker to decrypt contents of an encrypted drive.

Description

CVE-2018-12037

There is no cryptographic relation between the password provided by the end user and the key used for the encryption of user data. This can allow an attacker to access the key without knowing the password provided by the end user, allowing the attacker to decrypt information encrypted with that key.

According to National Cyber Security Centre - The Netherlands (NCSC-NL), the following products are affected by CVE-2018-12037:

  • Crucial (Micron) MX100, MX200 and MX300 drives
  • Samsung T3 and T5 portable drives
  • Samsung 840 EVO and 850 EVO drives (In "ATA high" mode these devices are vulnerable, In "TCG" or "ATA max" mode these devices are NOT vulnerable.)

CVE-2018-12038
Key information is stored within a wear-leveled storage chip. Wear-leveling does not guarantee that an old copy of updated data is fully removed. If the updated data is written to a new segment, old versions of data may exist in the previous segment for some time after it has been updated (until that previous segment is overwritten). This means that if a key is updated with a new password, the previous version of the key (either unprotected, or with an old password) could be accessible, negating the need to know the updated password.

According to NCSC-NL, the following products are affected by CVE-2018-12038:
  • Samsung 840 EVO drives

Other products were not reported to have been tested, and similar vulnerabilities may be found in those products.

Impact

These vulnerabilities allow for full recovery of the data without knowledge of any secret, when the attacker has physical access to the drive.

Solution

Apply patches
Vendors have issued patches to address the vulnerabilities. See the Vendor pages below for additional information.

If patches are not able to be deployed, consider the following workarounds:

Do not use drive-based encryption
Use software-based encryption rather than the hardware-based encryption provided by self-encrypting drives.


Additional Information:
According to NCSC-NL, BitLocker as bundled with Microsoft Windows relies on hardware full-disk encryption by default if the drive indicates that it can support this.

To determine whether BitLocker is using hardware-based encryption or software-based encryption:

  • Run "manage-bde.exe -status" in an administrator command prompt.
  • If the "Encryption Method" starts with "Hardware Encryption", then BitLocker is using the self-encrypting disk's hardware-based encryption implementation.
  • If the "Encryption Method" states something other than "Hardware Encryption", such as "AES-128" or "XTS AES-256", then BitLocker is using software-based encryption.

BitLocker's default encryption method can be controlled with Group Policy settings. Configure these settings to force BitLocker to use software-based encryption by default. Once these policy settings have been changed, BitLocker needs to be disabled and re-enabled to re-encrypt the drive with software-based encryption (if not already using software-based encryption).


Group policy links to control hardware-based BitLocker encryption:

Vendor Information

395981
 
Affected   Unknown   Unaffected

Lenovo

Notified:  February 11, 2019 Updated:  May 21, 2019

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References

Micron

Updated:  November 06, 2018

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References

Microsoft

Updated:  November 07, 2018

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

Encryption with BitLocker depends on the correct setting of the Group Policy. More information about this Group Policy can be found via the following location (Microsoft URL). Changing the default setting is not sufficient to mitigate the risk because it does not affect the vulnerability in already encrypted data. Only a complete new installation, including removal and reformatting of data, enforces encryption via BitLocker.

Vendor Information

For details, please see the vendor's web page.

Vendor References

Samsung Semiconductor

Updated:  May 16, 2019

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

For non-portable SSDs: We recommend installing encryption software (freeware available online) that is compatible with your system.

    For portable SSDs: We recommend updating the firmware on your device.

Vendor Information

For further information please see Consumer Notice regarding Samsung SSDs.

Vendor References

SanDisk Corporation

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  May 20, 2019

Statement Date:   May 07, 2019

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

See statement from Western Digital.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor References

Western Digital Technologies

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  May 20, 2019

Statement Date:   May 14, 2019

Status

  Affected

Vendor Statement

A firmware update to address issues related to the protection of data at rest on the SanDisk X600 SED SSD is available. For details on the issues addressed by this update and availability information, please see the bulletin on the Western Digital product security portal at https://www.westerndigital.com/support/productsecurity/wdc-19006-sandisk-x600-sata-ssd.

Vendor Information

CVE Numbers: CVE-2019-10705, CVE-2019-11686, CVE-2019-10706, CVE-2019-10636

Vendor References

Intel

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  April 04, 2019

Statement Date:   April 02, 2019

Status

  Not Affected

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Seagate Technology LLC

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  May 20, 2019

Statement Date:   May 17, 2019

Status

  Not Affected

Vendor Statement

Self-Encrypting Solid-State Drive Research Study: VU#395981, CVE-2018-12037,
CVE-2018-12038

All Seagate Secure™ TCG Enterprise SSC and TCG Opal SSC based SED and FIPS
devices across all interfaces (SAS, SATA and NVMe) provide certified
mitigations to the threats referenced in the recent research study entitled
"Self-encrypting deception: weaknesses in the encryption of solid-state drives
(SSDs)" by Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel at Radboud University in the
Netherlands. Specifically, the threats referenced in this study are:

Password and DEK not linked
Single DEK used for the entire disk
Lack of entropy in randomly generated DEKs
Wear leveling, power-saving mode (e.g. DEVSLP)
General implementation issues (i.e. incorrect crypto usage)
JTAG access
Vendor diagnostic commands access
Arbitrary unsigned code execution, and
Same intermediate encryption key for all MEKs

These threats are addressed in Seagate Secure SED and FIPS devices which are
thoroughly validated by independent labs that certify Seagate Secure products
against the FIPS 140 Standard and Common Criteria FDE Encryption Engine profile.

Seagate leads the industry with security certifications and transparency as a
result of our FIPS 140 and Common Criteria Certificates and corresponding
Seagate Secure Security Policies. These certifications provide public
visibility to the implemented security policies and assurance that device
protection, cryptography and key management are implemented to publicly
recognized security standards.

Common Criteria Certificate - CCEVS-VR-VID10857-2018
FIPS 140 Certificate Examples - #3316, #3252, #2634 (Refer to Seagate website
for additional certificates)

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

ADATA

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Acer

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Apple

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Crucial Technology

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Dell

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Dell EMC

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

HP Inc.

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Kingston Technology Company, Inc.

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

LITE-ON Technology Corporation

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Samsung

Notified:  May 10, 2019 Updated:  May 16, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Samsung Memory

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Sk Hynix

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  March 13, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

Toshiba Corporation

Notified:  March 13, 2019 Updated:  May 16, 2019

Status

  Unknown

Vendor Statement

No statement is currently available from the vendor regarding this vulnerability.

Vendor Information

We are not aware of further vendor information regarding this vulnerability.

View all 22 vendors View less vendors


CVSS Metrics

Group Score Vector
Base 4.7 AV:L/AC:M/Au:N/C:C/I:N/A:N
Temporal 3.7 E:POC/RL:OF/RC:C
Environmental 4.0 CDP:ND/TD:M/CR:H/IR:ND/AR:ND

References

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Carlo Meijer and Bernard van Gastel for reporting these vulnerabilities and the National Cyber Security Centre of the Netherlands for leading the coordination of this vulnerability.

This document was written by Trent Novelly and Laurie Tyzenhaus.

Other Information

CVE IDs: CVE-2018-12037 , CVE-2018-12038, CVE-2019-10705, CVE-2019-10706, CVE-2019-10636 , CVE-2019-11686
Date Public: 2018-11-05
Date First Published: 2018-11-06
Date Last Updated: 2019-05-21 15:03 UTC
Document Revision: 84

Sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Cybersecurity and Communications.