A bug has threatened the WD My Book Live series external hard drives for many users causing Western Digital to ask customers to disconnect their My Book Live devices from the internet so that they do not lose their data. The bug leads to a factory reset that wipes the drive clean, causing the user to lose all of the information saved on it.
The total number of users potentially affected by this is unknown but those that have reached out to the internet to discuss the pain of their loss is ever-increasing. From Reddit to personal blogs, you can find all sorts of chatter about users waking up to their information completely missing.
Legacy Western Digital MybookLive NAS drives getting wiped by remote factory reset? from techsupport
WD has not yet identified the party behind this, but they have determined that it is due to someone using a remote code execution vulnerability. In most cases, it triggers the remote reformat of the drive. In other cases, it might have gone even further. The My Book Live drives have not been updated since 2015 and some users have claimed to notice a firmware update the mysteriously became available during the time of their loss. So someone has likely slipped/pushed a malware-equipped firmware to users as well.
The company believes that it was caused by attackers using a list of IP addresses found through port-scanning, allowing them to find any devices directly connected to the internet through port-forwarding and without any security enabled. The company also states that it hasn’t found any data that suggest any of their servers or services have been breached in any way.
Regardless of who may be behind it or how it was possible to happen in the first place, it would be wise to disconnect your My Book Live or My Book Live Duo drive(s) if you own any. Hopefully, you aren’t on the list of victims. If you are, you have our sympathies as data loss is rarely anything other than a complete headache.
Feel free to use the comments below if you have experienced anything during this unfortunate event.