Information being mysteriously deleted from people’s hard drives after apparent malware attack

Andrew Griffin
Friday 25 June 2021 16:38 BST
(Getty Images)

Customers are finding information mysteriously deleted from their hard drives amid an apparent malware attack.

Users of Western Digital’s My Book Live and My Book Live Duo – which offer networked attach storage, so the hard drives can be acessed remotely – are finding that their data has been removed from the device.

Anyone with the products has been advised to unplug them immediately to ensure they are not affected by the attack, if they have not been wiped already.

The hard drives are explicitly marketed with the tagline “put your life on it”, and users are encouraged to back up important personal files such as photos or important documents. But users are finding that those documents appear to have been removed from the hard drives, and apparently deleted forever.

While some users say their devices have been entirely reset to how they were when they were bought, or show a request for a password that they have not set, most people say the files have simply disappeared. While the hard drive still appears, there is nothing on it, those affected say on Western Digital’s forum.

In a response to those problems, Western Digital said that the problems were the result of “malicious software”, which has presumably been installed onto them through the internet connection. In a separate post on its website, the company said that the devices “are being compromised through exploitation of a remote command execution vulnerability”.

“We understand that our customers’ data is very important,” it said in the forum post. “At this time, we recommend you disconnect your My Book Live from the Internet to protect your data on the device.”

Western Digital said that it was continuing to investigate the problem and would provide further updates.

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