Une musique de Janet Jackson devient une vulnérabilité CVE

Take an old computer and try to play the song “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson: it will crash, like a real denial of service vulnerability. Surprising.

On the Microsoft site, Raymond Chen, says “A colleague of mine shared a story with me from Windows XP product support. A major computer manufacturer has discovered that playing the music video for Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” song crashes certain laptop models. I would not have wanted to be in the laboratory that they had to set up to study this problem.

Released in 1989, this Janet Jackson hit is capable of crash the computer on which it is played, but also neighboring computers! How is it possible ? According to Raymond Chen’s account, it turns out that this music contains one of the ” natural resonant frequencies » 5400 rpm hard drives built into some laptops. If you have an SSD drive, you can be reassured! ?

This bug is not new since this anecdote dates from the early 2000s…. On the other hand, the novelty is that the MITER organization has just assigned this vulnerability a CVE identifier: CVE-2022-38392since it isa security breach that can cause a denial of service ! On the MITER website, it is specified: “A certain 5400 RPM OEM hard drive, as shipped with portable PCs around 2005, allows attackers who are physically nearby to cause a denial of service (device malfunction and system shutdown) via a malware attack. resonant frequency with the audio signal from the Rhythm Nation music video.

Due to the vibrations generated by the sound, the playback of the video clip would also have a negative impact on the performance of the hard disk! Raymond Chen’s article also evokes, with a certain humor, the vibrations generated by the cry of a person which would cause significant latency on a hard disk. The PC manufacturer in question made the decision to include a custom filter in the audio pipeline to detect and remove problem frequencies!

It was the strange, but true story of Friday afternoon… I’ll leave you with Janet Jackson!


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