A network attached storage (NAS) device is supposed to be your personal cloud alternative that lives offline and is entirely in your control. But these NAS enclosures still need to connect to the internet for basic housekeeping like updates and account authentication. For many Western Digital My Cloud users, this has turned into a major inconvenience, as they haven't been able to use their NAS at all ever since WD suffered a hacker attack over the weekend.
Western Digital confirmed that it suffered a cyber attack on March 26, giving the bad actors access to its systems (via TechCrunch). While we don’t know the extent of this attack right now, this hacking incident forced WD to take its systems and services entirely offline on Sunday.
These are all the WD devices and services that are known to be affected by the attack:
- My Cloud
- My Cloud Home
- My Cloud Home Duo
- My Cloud OS 5
- SanDisk ibi
- SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger
This outage has seriously affected many My Cloud (WD’s NAS brand) users, as they have been completely cut off from their personal NAS and all the data stored on it. Many users voiced their concerns on Twitter, asking the company to come up with a clear timeline for the restoration of its services.
As per Western Digital’s service status page, all of its services are down, including account authentication, cloud, and email. The page doesn’t give a lot of details on the nature of the latest incident, nor does it seem to have been updated since yesterday. WD is expected to post an update today, April 3, and we’ll keep an eye out for it to see what's in store for the affected users.
Western Digital presumably shut down its servers to limit the attacker's reach and keep the data on its own and users’ systems safe — if the hacker hadn’t already gained access to it, that is. But the company should at least provide timely updates to its users who probably would need their WD NAS to access their work files this Monday morning.
This isn’t the first time WD’s NAS has been affected by a cyber incident. A couple of years back, many WD My Book Live users found that their NAS had been remotely reset, deleting all their data. A good measure in such a case would be to set up your NAS to work only on the local network, provided your workflow allows that. You can go for one of the top Synology NAS enclosures that can work entirely offline if you don’t opt for QuickConnect.