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Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2022 16:02:12 +0200
From: Matthias Deeg <>
To: <>
Subject: [FD] [SYSS-2022-015]: Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard
 Drive - Use of a Cryptographic Primitive with a Risky Implementation
 (CWE-1240) (CVE-2022-28382)

Advisory ID:               SYSS-2022-015
Product:                   Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive
Manufacturer:              Verbatim
Affected Version(s):       #53650
Tested Version(s):         #53650
Vulnerability Type:        Use of a Cryptographic Primitive with a Risky
                            Implementation (CWE-1240)
Risk Level:                Low
Solution Status:           Open
Manufacturer Notification: 2022-02-03
Solution Date:             -
Public Disclosure:         2022-06-08
CVE Reference:             CVE-2022-28382
Author of Advisory:        Matthias Deeg (SySS GmbH)



The Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive is a USB drive with
AES 256-bit hardware encryption and a built-in fingerprint sensor for
unlocking the device with previously registered fingerprints.

The manufacturer describes the product as follows:

"The AES 256-bit Hardware Encryption seamlessly encrypts all data on the
drive in real-time. The drive is compliant with GDPR requirements as
100% of the drive is securely encrypted. The built-in fingerprint
recognition system allows access for up to eight authorised users and
one administrator who can access the device via a password. The hard
drive does not store passwords in the computer or system's volatile
memory making it far more secure than software encryption."[1]

Due to the use of an insecure encryption AES mode (Electronic Codebook),
an attacker may be able to extract information even from
encrypted data, for example by observing repeating byte patterns.


Vulnerability Details:

When analyzing the Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive,
Matthias Deeg found out that the firmware of the USB-to-SATA bridge
controller INIC-3637EN uses AES-256 with the ECB (Electronic Codebook)

This operation mode of block ciphers like AES encrypts identical
plaintext data, in this case blocks of 16 bytes, always to identical
ciphertext data.

For some data, for instance bitmap images, the lack of the cryptographic
property called diffusion concerning the ECB mode can leak sensitive
information even in encrypted data.

One famous example for this is an ECB-encrypted image of the TUX
penguin, which, for instance, is referenced in the Wikipedia article
about block cipher modes of operation[2] to illustrate this issue.

Thus, the use of the ECB operation mode can put the confidentiality of
specific information at risk, even in an encrypted form.

Additionally, in attack scenarios where an attacker has short-time
physical access to a Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive,
and later returns it to its legitimate owner, the attacker may be able
to compromise the integrity of the stored data by exploiting the fact
that the same 16-byte plaintext blocks result in the same 16-byte
ciphertext blocks, by replacing specific encrypted 16-byte blocks with
other ones.


Proof of Concept (PoC):

The same 16 byte long plaintext pattern was written several times to an
unlocked Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive.

When the hard drive was then read using another drive enclosure, the
same 16 byte long ciphertext pattern could be observed for the
corresponding plaintext data.



SySS GmbH is not aware of a solution for the described security issue.


Disclosure Timeline:

2022-02-03: Vulnerability reported to manufacturer
2022-02-11: Vulnerability reported to manufacturer again
2022-03-07: Vulnerability reported to manufacturer again
2022-06-08: Public release of security advisory



[1] Product website for Verbatim Fingerprint Secure Portable Hard Drive
[2] Wikipedia article about block cipher mode of operation
[3] SySS Security Advisory SYSS-2022-015
[4] SySS GmbH, SySS Responsible Disclosure Policy



This security vulnerability was found by Matthias Deeg of SySS GmbH.

E-Mail: matthias.deeg (at)
Public Key:
Key fingerprint = D1F0 A035 F06C E675 CDB9 0514 D9A4 BF6A 34AD 4DAB



The information provided in this security advisory is provided "as is"
and without warranty of any kind. Details of this security advisory may
be updated in order to provide as accurate information as possible. The
latest version of this security advisory is available on the SySS website.



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