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.
The table(s) below shows the other attack patterns and high level categories that are related to this attack pattern. These relationships are defined as ChildOf, ParentOf, MemberOf and give insight to similar items that may exist at higher and lower levels of abstraction. In addition, relationships such as CanFollow, PeerOf, and CanAlsoBe are defined to show similar attack patterns that the user may want to explore.
Relevant to the view "Mechanisms of Attack" (CAPEC-1000)
Standard Attack Pattern - A standard level attack pattern in CAPEC is focused on a specific methodology or technique used in an attack. It is often seen as a singular piece of a fully executed attack. A standard attack pattern is meant to provide sufficient details to understand the specific technique and how it attempts to accomplish a desired goal. A standard level attack pattern is a specific type of a more abstract meta level attack pattern.
Access to the system containing the ATA Drive so that the drive can be physically removed from the system.
[REF-33] Stuart McClure, Joel Scambray
and George Kurtz. "Hacking Exposed: Network Security Secrets & Solutions". Chapter 9: Hacking Hardware. 6th Edition. McGraw Hill. 2009.
CAPEC Content Team
The MITRE Corporation
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July 31, 2018
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