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DoS attacks against hard disk drives using acoustic signals

DoS attacks against hard disk drives using acoustic signals (Emerging Threats)

A group of Princeton and Purdue researchers has shown that it’s possible to mount a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against hard disk drives via acoustic signals. The attack The effectiveness of the attack hinges on the attacker’s capability to create the acoustic signal close to the target device, in a way that causes significant vibrations in the drives’ internal components. Attack limitations The researchers demonstrated the viability of the attack by managing to stop the read/write operations of a disk in a CCTV system’s digital video recorder (DVR) device, as well as that in a personal computer. But they found that the success of the attacks depended not only on the frequency of the acoustic signal but also heavily on the angle of the speaker towards the hard drive. Also, the attacker must find a way to discover the make and model of the target drives, so he or she can choose the amplitude of the acoustic signal that will trigger the acoustic resonance and affect the drive’s components. Future, more successful attacks of this kind will depend on attackers finding workable solutions to these problems.

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