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Hackers claim vast access to Western Digital systems
April 14, 2023

Hackers claim vast access to Western Digital systems

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The hackers who breached data storage giant Western Digital claim to have stolen around 10 terabytes of data from the company, including reams of customer information. The extortionists are pushing the company to negotiate a ransom — of ‘minimum 8 figures’ — in exchange for not publishing the stolen data.

On April 3, Western Digital disclosed ‘a network security incident’ saying hackers had exfiltrated data after hacking into ‘a number of the Company’s systems.’ At the time, Western Digital provided few details about exactly what data the hackers stole, saying in a statement that the hackers ‘obtained certain data from its systems and [Western Digital] is working to understand the nature and scope of that data.’

Screenshots shared by the hacker show a folder from a Box account apparently belonging to Western Digital, an internal email, files stored in a PrivateArk instance (a cybersecurity product), and a screenshot of a group call where one of the participants is identified as Western Digital’s chief information security officer.

They also said they were able to steal data from the company’s SAP Backoffice, a backend interface that helps companies manage e-commerce data.

The hacker said that their goal when they hacked Western Digital was to make money, though they decided against using ransomware to encrypt the company’s files.

‘I want to give them a chance to pay but our callers […] they have called them many times. They don’t answer and if they do they listen and hang up,’ the hacker said.

The hacker said they have also emailed several executives — using their personal email addresses because the corporate email system is currently down — demanding a ‘one-time payment.’

‘We only need a one-time payment, and then we will leave your network and let you know about your weaknesses. No lasting harm has been done. But if there are any efforts to interfere with us, our systems, or anything else. We will strike back,’ the hackers continued. ‘We are still buried in your network and we will keep digging there until we find a payment from you. We can completely conceal this and make it all disappear. Before it is too late, let us do that. Until now, you have been gracious; Let’s hope that you do not keep going the wrong way.’

‘Cut the crap, get the money, and let’s both go our separate ways. Simply put, let us put our egos aside and work to find a resolution to this chaotic scenario,’ the hackers wrote.

Western Digital spokesperson Charlie Smalling said the company declined to comment or answer questions about the hacker’s claims, such as whether the company could confirm the amount of data stolen, if it included customer data, and whether the company had made contact with the hackers.

‘I can say that we exploited vulnerabilities within their infrastructure and spidered our way to global administrator of their [Microsoft] Azure tenant,’ the hacker said.

As for why they hacked Western Digital, the hacker said they just come up with targets ‘randomly.’ They also declined to say anything about themselves or the group, saying they don’t go by any name.

If Western Digital doesn’t get back to them, the hacker said, they are ready to start publishing the stolen data on the website of the ransomware gang Alphv. The hacker said they are not directly affiliated with Alphv but ‘I know them to be professional.’


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