CAPEC Details
Name Bypassing ATA Password Security
Likelyhood of attack Typical severity
Low High
Summary An attacker exploits a weakness in ATA security on a drive to gain access to the information the drive contains without supplying the proper credentials. ATA Security is often employed to protect hard disk information from unauthorized access. The mechanism requires the user to type in a password before the BIOS is allowed access to drive contents. Some implementations of ATA security will accept the ATA command to update the password without the user having authenticated with the BIOS. This occurs because the security mechanism assumes the user has first authenticated via the BIOS prior to sending commands to the drive. Various methods exist for exploiting this flaw, the most common being installing the ATA protected drive into a system lacking ATA security features (a.k.a. hot swapping). Once the drive is installed into the new system the BIOS can be used to reset the drive password.
Prerequisites Access to the system containing the ATA Drive so that the drive can be physically removed from the system.
Related Weaknesses
CWE ID Description
CWE-285 Improper Authorization
Related CAPECS
CAPEC ID Description
CAPEC-401 An adversary exploits a weakness in access control to gain access to currently installed hardware and precedes to implement changes or secretly replace a hardware component which undermines the system's integrity for the purpose of carrying out an attack.