Western Digital (WD) has announced that following a series of vulnerabilities and security risks earlier this year, the company will drop support for any device not on its most recent operating system, only allowing them to receive local access.
In early June, Western Digital My Book Live devices were hit by a widespread attack that targeted a vulnerability in the software and allowed those with malicious intent to remotely access and wipe the data of the connected devices. The vulnerability was later discovered to be a “zero-day exploit,” which means it was a problem that existed in the devices from the moment they were sold.
A week later, a report found that Western Digital products running My Cloud OS 3 also had a zero-day vulnerability that the company said it would not address, and only would be fixed by upgrading to OS 5.
In a new a note to customers of affected devices, Western Digital says that as it has evaluated its hardware and as security standards evolve, it has determined that it is necessary for it to end support for prior generations of My Cloud OS entirely, which includes My Cloud OS 3 and My Cloud OS 2. As a note, there is no My Cloud OS 4.
Starting on January 15, 2022, the company says that devices that are compatible with OS 5 will no longer support prior generations of My Cloud OS, including My Cloud OS 3. WD says that anyone who wants to retain remote access to My Cloud drives will need to upgrade those devices to My Cloud OS 5 “now.”
For those who have legacy, My Cloud OS 3 devices that cannot be upgraded to OS 5, WD has said that they will simply be unable to access them remotely. This will take effect on April 15, 2022.
“There are critical security updates that are only available for My Cloud OS 5-compatible devices. If your device isn’t compatible with My Cloud OS 5, you’ll only be able to access it locally,” the company says. “After April 15, 2022, your device will no longer receive remote access, security updates, or technical support. To help protect your content, we recommend that you back up your device, disconnect it from the internet, and protect it with a strong, unique password.”
WD has set up a web page that shows which My Cloud devices are compatible with the My Cloud OS 5 update.
The company seems to understand that this move is bound to upset some customers, and “to make it easier” on them, is sending a 20% discount coupon to customers who own devices that are not compatible with an upgrade.
“We’ll send the coupon through email in January 2022,” the company writes. “You won’t need to return your current device, and the code will be good for 90 days.”
WD’s product lifecycle support policy states that devices will be covered for up to eight years after they have been released, and nine years after a product has been made available, the company reserves the right to discontinue all updates including critical software and security updates. WD may also discontinue cloud service support for a product in this phase. If a product feature depends on cloud services to function, that functionality will end.
If a product is still under warranty, WD says that it will still honor all valid claims. A full list of affected devices and upgrade options that are available is provided on WD’s website.