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Western Digital hard drives emptied by virus

by archyw

Western Digital My Book Live drives users have lost their data in a hack. WD recommends taking the drives offline.


Western Digital announced the news of the cyber attack a few days ago after the hard drive manufacturer received complaints from customers that they lost their files and/or could no longer log in to their account. The attack would mainly affect hard drives of the 2010 type My Book Live.

Initial analysis of log files reveals that the unknown perpetrators exploited a remote command execution vulnerability in the cloud servers of the My Book drives to obtain users’ IP addresses. On those hard drives they would then install a Trojan horse called nttpd,1-ppc-be-t1-z. Once installed, the virus initiates a reset procedure that erases all stored files from the drive. Western Digital claims to have obtained a sample of this virus for further research.

Shutting down the internet

Western Digital claims to have obtained a sample of this virus for further research. The manufacturer is currently trying to reassure its customers that no sensitive data would have been compromised. To prevent (further) data loss, it is best to completely disconnect your hard drives from the internet. Without an internet connection, the hackers cannot gain access to your hard drive. Some customers may have been able to recover their data through data recovery programs, but Western Digital does not yet have a list of programs available that are effective and reliable. We recommend that those using the My Book drives keep an eye on this blog post over the next few days for newer information. We will also continue to monitor the situation.

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Although they write to further investigate the incident, the company is said to have been aware of the vulnerability in their cloud servers since 2018. That reported an alert reader of Tweakers. But with the My Book series not receiving updates since 2015 and out of circulation, Western Digital apparently just left it that way. Sooner or later something had to go seriously wrong. It is therefore not a bad idea to look for a more recent alternative if your type of hard drive no longer receives support from the manufacturer.


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