Data Storage

Walmart Lists a 30TB Portable SSD for Just $39. It’s a Scam

What’s the deal with that supposed 30TB external SSD being sold for just $31.40 on China-based online shopping site AliExpress? It’s also listed on Walmart’s website for just $39 — but first, listen to cybersecurity researcher calling himself “Ray [REDACTED]”.
Scammer gets two 512MB Flash drives. Or 1 gigabyte, or whatever. They then add hacked firmware that makes it misreport its size… when you go to WRITE a big file, hacked firmware simply writes all new data on top of old data, while keeping directory (with false info) intact.

Ars Technica goes over the details:
On the inside, this “SSD” looks like two small-capacity microSD cards hot glued to a USB 2.0-capable board. This board’s firmware has been modified so that each of these cards reports its capacity as “15.0TB” to the operating system, for a total of 30TB, even though the actual capacity of the cards is much lower…. It preserves the directory structure of whatever you’re copying, but when it’s “copying” your data, it just keeps writing and rewriting over the tiny microSD cards.

Everything will look fine until you go to access a file, only to find that the data isn’t there.

Replies to Ray Redacted’s thread are full of alternate versions of this scam, including multiple iterations of the hot-glued microSD version and at least one that hid a USB thumb drive inside a larger enclosure. Fake USB storage devices are neither new nor rare, though this one makes spectacularly egregious claims about its price-per-gigabyte. When it comes to buying storage online, common-sense advice is best: stick to name brands, buy from trustworthy sellers…. and know that if a deal seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

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