DriveCrypt Security Model bypass

September 25th, 2008 by admin in News, Password Info

The password checking routine of DriveCrypt fails to sanitize the BIOS keyboard buffer before AND after reading passwords.

Affected Software

Secu Star’s DriveCrypt Plus Pack v3.9 (possibly other versions also)

Technical Description

DriveCrypt’s pre-boot authentication routines use the BIOS API to read user input via the keyboard. The BIOS internally copies the keystrokes in a RAM structure called the BIOS Keyboard buffer inside the BIOS Data Area. This buffer is not flushed after use, resulting in potential plain text password leakage once the OS is fully booted, assuming the attacker can read the password at physical memory location 0x40:0x1e. It is also possible for a root user to reboot the computer by instrumenting the BIOS keyboard buffer in spite of the full disk encryption.


1) Plain text password disclosure. Required privileges to perform this operation are OS dependant, from unprivileged users under Windows (any), to root under most Unix. 2) A privileged attacker able to write to the MBR and knowing the password (for instance thanks to 1), is able to reboot the computer in spite of the password prompted at boot time (and in spite of disk encryption) by initializing the BIOS keybaord buffer with the correct password (using an intermediary bootloader that will in turn run DriveCrypt).

Full Technical Whitepaper

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