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A bug in NTFS can allow anyone to lock your computer

One of the failures of FAT32 Most exploited in Windows 95 and Windows 98 was creating files with specific reserved names, or making a website try to access them in such a way that, when the operating system tried to load them, it would fail and crash completely. A curious bug from 1995 that, while not posing any danger to users, was really annoying.

NTFS is a much more robust, secure and complete file system created as a successor to FAT32 to avoid all the problems and limitations of this system. However, a security expert has just discovered a new security flaw in this file system that can cause a computer to completely crash when trying to access a specific directory on our hard drive, just like its predecessor.

While in FAT32 the bug was found when using special file names such as, for example, trying to load a resource from Β«file: /// c: / with / withΒ«, In the case of NTFS something similar happens when trying to use resources with the nameΒ«$ MFTΒ«. This name is reserved by the file system to store the metadata of the files on the disk. This directory exists by default at the root of all hard drives with this file system, however, is hidden to prevent users from modifying it And besides, NTFS has access to your data in a special way.

This NTFS flaw is not dangerous, but it can be very annoying

So, if for example we try to access a file called “c: $ MFT 123”, the file system will not be able to identify it correctly and it will loop trying to access the data over and over again until the system is totally unusable and forces us to restart the system. Depending on the computer and what we are doing with it, it may even freeze.

Although this flaw can be easily exploited locally, it can also be exploited remotely when trying to visit a page malicious web. For example, if we go to a website and a script tries to access “local resources” in a directory like that, the system will automatically be blocked.

We cannot fix this bug until Microsoft releases a new patch for its affected systems.

This security flaw affects all modern versions of Windows except Windows 10, since the new Microsoft operating system implements an improved version of NTFS with numerous changes, among which (and probably not even Microsoft realized it), the way of accessing special directories has been changed, for what this fault does not happen. Most likely, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will receive an update soon that fixes this NTFS bug, although other systems, such as XP or Vista, will not fix it.

What do you think about this NTFS failure that can leave your system totally blocked?