The “cryptsetup initrd root shell” vulnerability

Post Syndicated from corbet original http://lwn.net/Articles/706444/rss

Hector Marco and Ismael Ripoll report
a discouraging vulnerability in many encrypted disk setups: simply running
up too many password failures will eventually result in a root shell.
This vulnerability allows to obtain a root initramfs shell on
affected systems. The vulnerability is very reliable because it doesn’t
depend on specific systems or configurations. Attackers can copy, modify or
destroy the hard disc as well as set up the network to exfiltrate
data. This vulnerability is specially serious in environments like
libraries, ATMs, airport machines, labs, etc, where the whole boot process
is protect (password in BIOS and GRUB) and we only have a keyboard or/and a
mouse.