It’s April 7th, and you know what that means? That’s right. It means that Western Digital’s cloud network has officially been down for five days.
On April 2nd (this past Sunday), the data storage manufacturer announced that it was experiencing a service outage impacting a whole bunch of products, including My Cloud, My Cloud Home, My Cloud Home Duo, My Cloud OS5, SanDisk ibi, and SanDisk Ixpand Wireless Charger. The company said that it was “working to restore service” and apologized for the inconvenience.
In the days that followed, we didn’t hear all that much. Western Digital issued a follow-up statement on April 3rd that said basically the exact same thing, as well as a press release clarifying that it was “implementing proactive measures to secure its business operations including taking systems and services offline.”
The Verge reached out to Western Digital for further information, but the company declined to comment. Hey, at least our email went through — other outlets seem to have gotten bouncebacks.
Western Digital declined to comment
Today, with the network still down, the company made what might be the first helpful post for owners of its impacted devices since the initial announcement. Its update indicates that owners of My Cloud Home, My Cloud Home Duo, and SanDisk ibi (SanDisk’s smart photo manager) can still access the files stored on their devices with a Local Access feature. It is already “enabled and functional” for My Cloud OS5 products.
Owners can enable local access on any Windows or macOS computer that is connected to the same network as their impacted device. Users will need to create a specific Local Access account — which does, I’m going to be honest, look like a bit of a complicated process, so be sure to follow the directions closely. Of note, it appears that you need to have already set up your device prior to the crash, so brand-new owners will need to sit tight.
This whole brouhaha is the result of a “network security incident” that allowed an unauthorized party to access data from the company’s systems, according to the April 3rd announcement. MyCloud customers have grown increasingly restless as the days wear on and continue complaining that they can’t access the data stored on their devices.
This isn’t the first time a Western Digital breach has compromised customer files. Hackers mass-wiped a whole bunch of My Book Live cloud storage products in mid-2021, impacting what was, by some estimates, petabytes of user data. In that case, Western Digital ended up providing free data recovery services and a trade-in program for My Book Live owners.