Unplug your WD My Book Live right now or you might end up with an expensive brick

Jun 25, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Unplug your WD My Book Live right now or you might end up with an expensive brick

Jun 25, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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The Western Digital My Book Live NAS products are extremely popular amongst photographers. External storage devices that you can just whack on your network and access from any machine on your network. I’ve owned a few myself over the years and they were pretty good. It seems, though, that there’s a big issue with them at the moment. They’re deleting files without the owner’s knowledge.

According to a post on the Western Digital Community forums, many users have reported seeing their files missing with some being completely locked out of their devices. According to a statement from WD, it’s caused by an exploit that allows remote command execution. WD’s advice, for now, is to completely unplug them from the Internet.

The post was created by a user who stated that all his data had disappeared and was presented with a page prompting him to enter an owner password. He says that the usual default passwords for such devices didn’t work and nor did the password he’d set but it wasn’t letting him in. His My Book Live is now essentially a brick. Shortly after, dozens of users responded that they’d experienced the exact same thing.

What immediately sticks out about the post is the number of replies from other users echoing that they experienced the same – with some reporting that it happened to multiple devices they own simultaneously. The volume of reports combined with the fact all the devices seemed to be affected in such a short space of time suggests that this is possibly just the beginning and many more devices are expected to be hit.

Western Digital says the My Book Live and My Book Live Duo firmware was last updated to its final version in 2015 and are investigating the issue to determine the cause and provide a solution. The products are now both obsolete, having been replaced by the WD My Cloud devices, but there are still a lot of My Book Live devices out there in use in peoples homes and offices.

For now, Western Digital’s official advice is to unplug your drive from the Internet. Take it off your network. Unfortunately, possibly short of shucking the drive and sticking it in a new enclosure, there’s no way to access the data once it’s no longer on your network as My Book Live devices don’t contain USB client sockets like regular desktop hard drives. But if you have either right now, you really don’t want people to be able to access it directly over the Internet until Western Digital provides a fix.

[via The Verge]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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3 responses to “Unplug your WD My Book Live right now or you might end up with an expensive brick”

  1. Keith Avatar
    Keith

    I’m not sure ‘obsolete’ is the correct word to describe these now-useless MyBook products. Unless you pace ‘planned’ in front of it. And it kind of forgives WD for not supporting relatively young storage products – surely something discontinued in 2015 should still have support a few years later?

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      They are obsolete. They stopped making them six years ago and replaced them in their lineup with newer models. That’s what obsolete means. And if you read the other parts of the article, you’d see what Western Digital says they’re working on a fix. Is that not support?

    2. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      They are obsolete. They stopped making them six years ago and replaced them in their lineup with newer models. That’s what obsolete means. Western Digital says they’re working on a fix. Is that not support?