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This Windows 10 NTFS error can instantly corrupt your hard drives



Microsoft patched a number of bugs through this year’s first updates about the update earlier this week, but it appears that a bug that has not been updated, has been exploited for a long time, has not yet been addressed. According to @jonasLyk, a short, single-line command delivered through a specially crafted file can corrupt any Windows 10 NTFS-formatted hard drive.

Delivered through a ZIP, shortcut, HTML, or other vectors, the command triggers a hard disk failure that corrupts the file system index without even requiring administrative privileges.

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“Critically Underrated” Windows 10 NTFS Vulnerability

Jonas says that this Windows 10 bug is not new and has been around since the release of Windows April 10, 2018 Update, and is still usable on the latest versions. BleepingComputer shared that the problematic command includes $ i30 string, a Windows NTFS index attribute associated with directories.

After running the command, Windows 10 will begin displaying instructions to restart the device and repair the damaged drive. Apparently the problem also affects some Windows XP versions and similar NTFS errors have been known for years but have not yet been addressed by the Windows manufacturer.

It is still unclear why the string causes corruption on the hard drive. In response to the report, Microsoft said that “the use of this technique depends on social engineering, and as always, we encourage our customers to practice good computing habits online, including being careful when opening unknown files or accepting file transfers.”

January 2021 KB4598242 Patch Tuesday Update is live for Windows 10 versions 20H2 and 2004

However, at least one example that Jonas has shared with BP confirms that when you use a Windows shortcut (.url) with the icon location set to C: : $ i30: $ bitmap, a user does not even need to open the file for it to trigger the vulnerability. Microsoft said it “will provide updates for affected devices as soon as possible,” so hopefully there will finally be some solution for this stream of NTFS errors.

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