WD My Book Live: Users of certain Western Digital (WD) drives are urged to unplug them while the company investigates reports of sudden data loss.
This came to light on Thursday, June 24, when some owners of WD’s My Book Live and My Book Live Duo external hard drives woke up to find their data gone, Bleeping Computer reported.
According to California-based WD, the problem is caused by malware that causes the device to perform a factory reset, resulting in data loss.
A WD forum user wrote, “I have a WD My Book Live connected to my home LAN and has been working fine for years. Just today I discovered that all the data on it had somehow disappeared.”
Another person said: “All my data is gone, too. The message in the GUI says that a “factory reset” was done today! 06/23. I’m totally screwed without that data… for years,” while another focused on security, writing, “It’s very scary that someone could restore the drive to factory settings without any end-user permission.”
Upon learning of this troubling problem, WD posted a response on its community pages, saying: “Western Digital has determined that some My Book Live devices are subject to malware attacks. In some cases, this threat has resulted in a factory reset, erasing all data on the device.”
The message continued, “We understand that our customers’ data is very important. We currently recommend that you disconnect My Book Live from the Internet to protect the data on your device.”
Finally, the company said it was “actively investigating, and we will provide updates in this thread when they are available.”
WD’s My Book Live external drive received its last firmware update in 2015 and is no longer on sale. It’s unclear how many are still in use. The fact that it uses an Ethernet cable to connect to a local network to remotely access files and change configuration suggests an entry point for attackers targeting the device.
Digital Trends has reached out to WD for comment on the situation, and we’ll update this article if we hear back.
In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a new external drive – and you may very well be after this incident – take note of these recommendations.