Earlier this year, hackers remotely accessed and erased the contents of Western Digital My Book Live devices. And while WD’s incompetence is partially to blame for this large-scale exploit, old networking devices are always vulnerable to hackers. That’s why Western Digital is taking a controversial step to secure its products—it’s dropping support for old My Cloud drives.
More specifically, WD plans to end support for My Cloud OS 3. Customers with old My Cloud devices that cannot update past My Cloud OS 3 will lose remote access features, tech support, and security updates on April 15th. The drives will still offer local access to files and backups, but nothing more.
And if you own a newer My Cloud device that’s capable of running My Cloud OS 5 (the latest firmware), Western Digital will force you to update by January 15th. (Many customers stick with the old and vulnerable OS 3 firmware because My Cloud OS 5 launched without some important features, such as the ability to manage files between multiple NAS devices.)
On April 15, 2022, support for prior generations of My Cloud OS, including My Cloud OS 3, will end. If your device isn’t compatible with My Cloud OS 5, you will lose remote access and will only be able to access it locally. Devices on these older firmware versions will not receive security fixes or technical support.
Here’s every WD drive that will lose remote access on April 15th:
- My Cloud PR2100
- My Cloud PR4100
- My Cloud EX2 Ultra
- My Cloud EX4100
- My Cloud EX2100
- My Cloud DL2100
- My Cloud DL4100
- My Cloud Mirror Gen2
- My Cloud (P/N: WDBCTLxxxxxxx-10)
- WD Cloud
- My Cloud Mirror
- My Cloud EX2
- My Cloud EX4
- My Cloud (P/N: WDBCTLxxxxxxx-00)
If you’re disappointed by this change, sorry! Your old My Cloud device is vulnerable to hackers and needs to be replaced. Western Digital says it will send a 20% discount coupon to customers who need to upgrade—this coupon goes out in January of 2022 and expires on April 15th of the same year, so I suggest emailing Western Digital if a coupon doesn’t come your way.
I suggest buying a more traditional NAS device if you don’t want to continue with Western Digital. NAS devices from Synology and other top brands are easy to set up and can run multiple backup drives in parallel, ensuring that your data is secure even if a drive fails.