Walmart Pulls Fraudulent Hard Drive Product from Its Shelves
Well, here’s something you don’t see every day, folks. The largest retailer in the United States sold a product that was shall we say, less than what was advertised. Vice.com reported the story about Walmart and the deceptive 30 TB hard drive.
According to the story by Joseph Cox, until Monday, Walmart shoppers could grab an incredible deal: a massive solid state hard drive (SSD) for the incredible price of $17.99. Often, similar drives go for much more, depending on their size. Generally, a TB of storage on an SSD can cost between $50 to $100.
Here’s the Walmart ad:
Walmart removed the device as of Monday, August 29th, 2022. It’s the old story of if the deal seems too good to be true it probably is.
Ray, a cybersecurity researcher, who saw a similar item on online retailer AliExpress, knew the offer was too good to be true. He bought the drive, suspecting it was a scam, and took it apart to find out what exactly was happening here. Sure enough, he found what amounted to a different item cosplaying as a big SSD. Inside were two small memory cards and the item had been programmed in such a way to appear it had 30TB of storage when plugged into a computer.
“I knew going in it would be a scam but I thought we might use it as an educational opportunity,” the cybersecurity researcher who goes by the name Ray, who tweeted his findings last week, told Motherboard in an online chat. “My son and I worked on it together.”
It was fairly easy for the father and son team to discover the fraud.
After using a razor blade to open up the item’s casing, instead of an SSD Ray found a board with two glued-down SD cards. But when plugged into a Windows machine, the computer reported detecting two 15TB drives. That is unrealistic, to say the least: although SD cards can reach into the terabytes, they are typically much more expensive than what this drive costs. Ray believes the scammers modified the firmware which makes the device misreport its storage size.
As Ray tweeted out his findings, another user, SM4Tech, found that the drive was available at Walmart. Motherboard then contacted Walmart for comment.
“Thanks for reaching out and bringing this to our attention,” Robyn Babbitt, director of corporate communications at Walmart, told Motherboard in an email. “Walmart has a robust trust and safety program, which actively works to protect our customers and help ensure items are authentic. After reviewing this item, it has been removed from our site.”
read more at vice.com