Acoustic Denial of Service Attacks on Hard Disk Drives

Will be presented on October 19, 2018, at ASHES '18 workshop, in conjunction with ACM CCS 2018.


Bridging concepts from information security and resonance theory, we propose a novel denial of service attack against hard disk drives (HDDs). In this attack, acoustic signals are used to cause rotational vibrations in HDD platters in an attempt to create failures in read/write operations, ultimately halting the correct operation of HDDs.

We perform a comprehensive examination of multiple HDDs to characterize the attack and show the feasibility of the attack in two real-world systems, namely, surveillance devices and personal computers. Our attack highlights an overlooked security vulnerability of HDDs, introducing a new threat that can potentially endanger the security of numerous systems.

You may access the paper PDF for free through the ACM Author-Izer link, below:

ACM DL Author-ize serviceAcoustic Denial of Service Attacks on Hard Disk Drives
Mohammad Shahrad, Arsalan Mosenia, Liwei Song, Mung Chiang, David Wentzlaff, Prateek Mittal
ASHES '18 Proceedings of the 2018 Workshop on Attacks and Solutions in Hardware Security, 2018