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Vulnerabilities / Threats

7/31/2019
04:45 PM
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Flaws in SanDisk SSD Dashboard Present Malware & Data Loss Risks

Organizations using the utility should immediately install the latest version of the software, security vendor Trustwave says.

A utility program for managing SanDisk solid-state drives (SSDs) has two security vulnerabilities in it that heighten data loss risks for organizations using the application.

One of the vulnerabilities in SanDisk's SSD Dashboard gives attackers a way to install malware disguised as legitimate updates on systems running the software.

The flaw (CVE-2019-13467) has to do with the fact that the SSD Dashboard uses HTTP, rather than HTTPS, for updates and other resource downloads, Trustwave said in a blog post Wednesday. This makes it trivial for attackers to target users running the application, the security vendor said.

A typical attack would be a man-in-the-middle approach in which a rogue server could pretend to be an official SanDisk server offering a new update when what it's actually doing is serving up malware such as ransomware or a banking Trojan. "This could be done by gaining a foothold in the network, hijacking DNS lookups, or trolling public networks like cafes and airports," says Karl Sigler, manager of threat intelligence at Trustwave. 

The other weakness that Trustwave discovered in the SSD Dashboard is tied to the use of a hard-coded password for protecting archived customer-generated system and diagnostic reports. The password completely negates the benefit of encrypting the data when it is sent to SanDisk for examination.

The hard-coded password vulnerability isn't quite as severe as the HTTPS issues, Sigler says. Even so, error reports can often contain confidential information, he says. "An attacker that can gain access to an error report would be able to decrypt it with the hard-coded password and gain access to that information."

Customers of SanDisk — and of parent Western Digital — that are currently using the Dashboard to monitor and maintain their SSDs should upgrade their application as soon as possible, Sigler advises. These flaws — hard-coded credentials and lack of encryption where needed — are unfortunately too common. They highlight the need for vendors to start including security assessments as a part of their overall software development life cycle, he says.

In an advisory, Western Digital confirmed the issues and urged customers to install the latest version of the company's SanDisk SSD Dashboard and Western Digital SSD Dashboard. Installing the updates ensures that the Dashboard uses HTTPS for all resource downloads, the company said.

The updated dashboard application will also not encrypt and send system information report files back to SanDisk like it used to in previous versions. Instead, customers requiring support will in the future need to manually share the reports directly with SanDisk and Western Digital's support team, the advisory noted.

Any organization that either uses the SanDisk Dashboard utility or allows their users to install it to manage their hardware may be at risk, Sigler says. Currently, there is no evidence that anyone has taken advantage of the two weaknesses in the SSD Dashboard. But exploiting either of these flaws would be extremely easy to pull off based on the nature of the vulnerabilities.

"If a single workstation inside an organization uses the unpatched Dashboard, they may be at risk of malware being presented to the workstation as a false update," Sigler notes. "That foothold can then be expanded."

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Jai Vijayan is a seasoned technology reporter with over 20 years of experience in IT trade journalism. He was most recently a Senior Editor at Computerworld, where he covered information security and data privacy issues for the publication. Over the course of his 20-year ... View Full Bio

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