Western Digital flaw allows hackers to access restricted files

Western Digital logo on a smartphone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Western Digital has fixed a bug in its software that allowed attackers to access restricted files.

The security flaw lay in EdgeRover, which is a proprietary WD file explorer app, and affects both the Mac and Windows version of the software.

Both versions of the product suffer from a directory traversal vulnerability. An attacker can elevate their local privileges and escape basic file-system sandboxing, said the company in an advisory.

"These vulnerabilities when successfully exploited could lead to disclosure of sensitive information or denial-of-service," the company said.

Western Digital registered the bug as CVE-2022-22988. It has a vulnerability score of 9.1 and is rated as critical.

While the bug could allow access to restricted files, an attacker would need to have already compromised the machine to exploit this bug.

The company fixed the flaw by modifying file and directory permissions, restricting the folders that files can be loaded from. Customers should upgrade to version of the app on Mac and Windows machines to fix the issue.

EdgeRover allows people to create an inventory and snapshots of all the files stored on their computer and external drives. The product lets users search across all their files, including media that isn't currently connected. The search capability also includes previews of images and documents.


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EdgeRover has suffered from security bugs before. In December 2021, Western Digital reported two vulnerabilities in Mac and Windows versions of the application. The bugs, which lay in its OpenSSL library, allowed a denial of service attack and a remote code execution attack on the system. The company fixed those by updating its OpenSSL library.

Another bug in the Windows version, fixed last May, allowed users to elevate privileges and load malicious content into restricted directories. That bug lay in the company's implementation of Node.js.

Danny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury has been a print journalist specialising in technology since 1989 and a freelance writer since 1994. He has written for national publications on both sides of the Atlantic and has won awards for his investigative cybersecurity journalism work and his arts and culture writing. 

Danny writes about many different technology issues for audiences ranging from consumers through to software developers and CIOs. He also ghostwrites articles for many C-suite business executives in the technology sector and has worked as a presenter for multiple webinars and podcasts.