Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Remote Wiping of WD My Book Live Drives

Dan Goodin (Hacker News):

Western Digital, maker of the popular My Disk external hard drives, is recommending that customers unplug My Book Live storage devices from the Internet until further notice while company engineers investigate unexplained compromises that have completely wiped data from devices around the world.

The mass incidents of disk wiping came to light in this thread on Western Digital’s support forum. So far, there are no reports of deleted data later being restored.

Tim Hardwick:

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.

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.

Dan Goodin:

Last week’s mass-wiping of Western Digital My Book Live storage devices involved the exploitation of not just one vulnerability but also a second critical security bug that allowed hackers to remotely perform a factory reset without a password, an investigation shows.

The vulnerability is remarkable because it made it trivial to wipe what is likely petabytes of user data. More notable still was that, according to the vulnerable code itself, a Western Digital developer actively removed code that required a valid user password before allowing factory resets to proceed.

Howard Oakley:

In both cases, those worst affected by the loss of backups are those who have entrusted those backups to just one destination: iOS/iPadOS devices to iCloud, and local backups to ageing My Book Live storage. While neither should have resulted in such data loss, and both Apple and Western Digital need to investigate and act in their users’ best interests, no one should ever rely on a single backup set, nor a single method of making backups.


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