Germans devise attacks on Windows BitLocker

    Date05 Mar 2010
    CategoryCryptography
    2959
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    German researchers have devised five methods that determined attackers can use to bypass hard-drive encryption in recent versions of Microsoft operating systems. The methods, laid out by a research team from the Frauenhofer Institute for Security Information Technology, can be used to access files protected by BitLocker drive encryption contained in Windows Server 2008 and pricier versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. BitLocker prevents files or entire volumes from being accessed without a user password being entered first.

    The researchers stress that the strategies are useful only for targeted attacks, such as those used in industrial espionage, where an attacker is willing to devote considerable effort to breaching a single individual's security.

    They aren't of much use in opportunistic attacks, such as those when an attacker happens upon a lost laptop. Still, they said their findings are useful because they demonstrate the limits of the protection.

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