Western Digital Asks 'My Book Live' Device Owners to Unplug After Reports of Remotely Wiped Drives

Western Digital is advising owners of its My Book Live storage drives to disconnect them from the internet until further notice, following reports from around the world that some devices have been compromised and wiped clean by malicious software.

western digital my book live
The WD My Book Live is the company's network-attached storage device with the book-style design that can stand upright on a desk. The drive is typically connected to computers via USB and connects to a local network via ethernet. Meanwhile, the WD My Book Live app lets users access their stored files remotely through Western Digital's cloud servers.

As reported by BleepingComputer, My Book Live and Live Duo device owners on Thursday began flooding Western Digital's support forums with reports that all of their files had been mysteriously deleted and that they could no longer access the device via the offical app or a browser.

"I have a WD My Book live connected to my home LAN that's worked fine for years," wrote the first poster in a now-long thread. "I have just found that somehow all the data on it is gone today, while the directories seems there but empty. Previously the 2T volume was almost full but now it shows full capacity."

When they attempted to log in using the drive's web dashboard, the drive told them they had an invalid password. Many other owners have also confirmed that their device has been hit with the same issue. "All my data is gone too," another user said. "I am totally screwed without that data... years of it."

Following further reports, a pattern has gradually emerged in shared device logs that points to a remote command initiating a factory reset on affected devices beginning at around 3:00 p.m. on Thursday and continuing throughout the night.

Western Digital has advised customers in a new support notice to disconnect their My Book Live devices while the company investigates the destructive attacks. The company has since told BleepingComputer they are actively investigating the attacks but do not believe it was a compromise of their servers.

"Western Digital has determined that some My Book Live devices are being compromised by malicious software. In some cases, this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device. The My Book Live device received its final firmware update in 2015. We understand that our customers' data is very important. At this time, we recommend you disconnect your My Book Live from the Internet to protect your data on the device. We are actively investigating and we will provide updates to this thread when they are available."

If the company is correct in saying its servers haven't been hacked, it's unclear how so many My Book Live accounts could be compromised at or around the same time. We've asked for more information from Western Digital regarding the matter and will post an update to this story if we hear anything back, but the advice for device owners for now is clear: Disconnect your My Book Live.

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Top Rated Comments

haruhiko Avatar
40 months ago
One should either: 1) put your files locally and keep the drive offline or 2) put them in a trustworthy cloud based storage system (iCloud Drive, Google Drive etc.)

The victims unfortunately chose the worst of both worlds: a single local copy with access to internet which supports remote deletion of all files.

The fact that WD gave up their old products and hasn’t issued any security updates since 2015 while retaining the remote wipe function is beyond irresponsible.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deckard666 Avatar
40 months ago
Remote and local folks.....always
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JSL1 Avatar
40 months ago
Poor security by WD to allow this to happen and to allow remote wipes.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvisimprsntr Avatar
40 months ago
Hard lessons learned:
1. Never expose NAS to WAN or any remote access cloud service.
2. Need 3-2-1 backup strategy.
3. Replace EOL devices/software.

Even though I did not fall victim to recent QNAP QTS Qlocker ransomware since I don't expose my NAS devices to a WAN, I got fed up with constant QTS security patches for hardcoded credentials and vulnerabilities, and installed TrueNAS CORE ('https://www.truenas.com/truenas-core/') on my QNAP TS-453A and TS-253A. Works better and faster than QTS!



Attachment Image
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
W2u7Yw4HaD Avatar
40 months ago
Unless their data is wholly in the cloud also and can be undeleted, this isn't a wise thing to connect to the cloud as your only offline backup source..
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CoastalMaineBird Avatar
40 months ago
all the data on it is gone today, while the directories seems there but empty.
...
this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device.

I don't think the "factory reset" would leave all the directories there.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)