Editor’s Note: Western Digital restored its My Cloud service on April 12. The original story follows.
Western Digital has taken its My Cloud consumer cloud and backup service offline as a result of a hack of the company’s systems, and it still remains down days later.
WD said April 3 that on March 26 it identified what it called “a network security incident involving Western Digital’s systems” that involved an unauthorized third party gaining access. WD said that it’s working with law enforcement and outside security experts, but that the investigation is still in its early stages. The hacker took data, WD said, but WD is still working to determine what and how much of it was leaked.
WD’s My Cloud service remains offline as of April 11, and the company has provided no additional information on when the service will be restored. On April 7th, Western Digital updated its My Cloud status page saying that access to local files via a Windows or Mac machine on the local network had been restored via the Local Access tab. Of course, that’s of limited utility: presumably users could already simply access those files directly, transfer them through standard networking, and move them around on removable media. Remote access through My Cloud applications remains down.
Unfortunately for customers, WD’s remediation methods involves “taking systems and services offline,” where appropriate. That seems to have included WD’s My Cloud service, which was completely down as of press time. Westen Digital’s online store is also unreachable: “We’ll be back soon,” the site reads. “We are unable to process orders at this time.”
“Western Digital is currently experiencing a service outage impacting the following products: My Cloud, My Cloud Home, My Cloud Home Duo, My Cloud OS5, SanDisk ibi, SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger,” the company said on April 2. “We are working to restore service. We apologize for any inconvenience. Next update will be posted on Monday, April 3.” April 7 is the last date on which Western Digital posted a status update.
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WD’s My Cloud has existed for over a decade, providing a private alternative to Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, and other consumer and enterprise services. Unfortunately for Western Digital, the transition from spinning hard drives to SSDs affected the company’s business over the past few years, and the current downturn in the PC market didn’t help. SSD prices have also fallen. That has shifted revenue to WD’s cloud services like MyCloud. In January, WD said that cloud services represented 39 percent of total revenue, which fell 36 percent from a year ago. (Cloud revenues fell the same amount.)
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like WD’s books will benefit from this, either. “While Western Digital is focused on remediating this security incident, it has caused and may continue to cause disruption to parts of the Company’s business operations,” it said.
When will My Cloud be back online? WD hasn’t said, but the future still looks very uncertain at the moment. On one hand, WD says that “as part of its remediation efforts, Western Digital is actively working to restore impacted infrastructure and services.” On the other, the company says it still plans to “take additional steps where appropriate.” To us, that sounds like a very formal, very official approximation of: “We don’t have any idea what’s going on right now, but we’re doing our best.”
What should you do in the meantime? If you can, we advise you to use the “rule of three”: make more than one backup of your data!
Additional reporting by Michael Crider.