December 1, 2023

Researchers has discovered that DataVault encryption software made by ENC Security and used by multiple vendors is affected by a couple of key derivation function issues. An attacker can exploit the flaws to obtain user passwords.

DataVault is an advanced encryption software to protect user data, it provides comprehensive military grade data protection and security features to multiple systems. Multiple vendors, including WD, Sony and Lexar use the DataVault software.


It turned out that the key derivation function was PBKDF2 using 1000 iteration of MD5 to derive the encryption key. The salt used to derive the keys is constant and hardcoded in all the solutions and all the vendors. This makes it easier for an attacker to guess the user password of a vault using time/memory tradeoff attack techniques such as rainbow tables and to re-use the tables to retrieve passwords for all users using the software.

The implementation itself was incorrect and even with a randomly generated unique salt, it would be effortless to recover the password of a user. Other flaws of the key derivation function will be discussed and compared with nowadays good practices.

The data encryption method was also found to be malleable, allowing malicious modifications of files in a vault without any detection. No data integrity mechanism was set up.


The vulnerabilities have been tracked as CVE-2021-36750 and CVE-2021-36751.

DataVault and its derivatives were using a one-way cryptographic hash with a predictable salt making it vulnerable to dictionary attacks by a malicious user. The software also made use of a password hash with insufficient computational effort that would allow an attacker to brute force user passwords leading to unauthorized access to user data.Both the key derivation function issues described above have been resolved in the updated version DataVault 7.2.

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