Published in PC Hardware

Western Digital My Books were reset from the factory

by on28 June 2021

Memory wiped empty book

Some users who bought an external hard drive that's shaped like a book ended up with "terabytes' worth of data, years of memories and months of hard work vanished in an instant.

"My Books" deletions appear to have happened after receiving a remote command for a factory reset. The commands starting going out at 3PM on Wednesday and lasted throughout the night. One user posted a copy of their log showing how a script was run to shut down their storage device for a factory restore.

Western Digital said some My Book Live and My Book Live Duo devices are being compromised through the exploitation of a remote command execution vulnerability.

“The log files we have reviewed show that the attackers directly connected to the affected My Book Live devices from a variety of IP addresses in different countries. This indicates that the affected devices were directly accessible from the Internet, either through direct connection or through port forwarding that was enabled either manually or automatically via UPnP”, the company said.

Additionally, the log files show that on some devices, the attackers installed a trojan with a file named ".nttpd,1-ppc-be-t1-z", which is a Linux ELF binary compiled for the PowerPC architecture used by My Book Live and Live Duo. A sample of this trojan has been captured for further analysis and it has been uploaded to VirusTotal.

“Our investigation of this incident has not uncovered any evidence that Western Digital cloud services, firmware update servers, or customer credentials were compromised. As the My Book Live devices can be directly exposed to the internet through port forwarding, the attackers may be able to discover vulnerable devices through port scanning”, Western Digital said.

The advice is to disconnect your My Book Live and My Book Live Duo from the internet to protect your data on the device by following these instructions on the Western Digital Knowledge Base.

“We have heard customer concerns that the current My Cloud OS 5 and My Cloud Home series of devices may be affected. These devices use a newer security architecture and are not affected by the vulnerabilities used in this attack. We recommend that eligible My Cloud OS 3 users upgrade to OS 5 to continue to receive security updates for your device”, the company said.


Last modified on 28 June 2021
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