Is HDD Encryption really pointless for My Cloud NAS?

I am getting a My Cloud 2-bay NAS. As I understand it, HDD Encryption is supported and makes the data on the physical drives gibberish unless you have the password (like on my My Passport Ultra drives).

I want to know that a burglar cannot swipe the hardware and remove the drives and scrape out the data. I’m guessing that is the point of having HDD Encryption at all?

People say it’s pointless because a paperclip can reset the admin password.

My question is: so what? Unless the password is provided by a human when the drives are mounted (in the case of “manual mount”) I don’t see how the crook/admin with the newly reset password can get access to the data which is physically encrypted? I suppose s/he could delete stuff, and that would be just fine, but reading data without the password? How?

If I’m right, I’m assuming I will have to avoid “automatic mount” (which bypasses the need for us human owners to enter the password on the dashboard at mount time). And, in that event, I’m guessing I’ll need to “unmount” when we’re leaving the house and use the dashboard to manually enter the password and “mount” the drives when we need them again.

If I’m off-base, I’d appreciate a short tutorial on where I went wrong. Thanks!

Hi @jfkelley,

Have you opened a Support Case? If not opened, for more information, please contact the WD Technical Support team for the best assistance and troubleshooting:

I did talk to first-level support. I couldn’t get a clear answer to my question about what a thief can (or, more importantly canNOT) do with a hard drive that has HDD hardware encryption. All the support person said was that a thief could reset the admin password with a paper clip and that WD recommends that I not let my hard drives be stolen.

If I’m not there to manually enter the decryption password, I don’t understand how anyone can read the data of the physical drive, fake admin or not.

I am guessing that I will have to unmount the drive if we go out of town, but I’m not sure.
Q: If a thief resets with a paper clip will that automatically unmount the drives?
Q: If a thief yanks the drives into his big thief bag labelled “SWAG”, thus unplugging the power, that will obviously “unmount” the drives requiring that I be there in person to enter the password, right?

Have you tried asking the question or search in the correct My Cloud OS 3 subforum? This subforum is dedicated to the My Cloud 'Home’ which has an entirely different encryption and security than the OS 3 and OS 5 devices.

Thank for replying. I don’t know anything about “OS 3” or “OS 5”. (I do see that my firmware is version 5.26.119, in case that makes it “OS 5”?).

I do know that I have ordered (and now received) a “My Cloud EX2 Ultra”. It claims to have “256 AES volume encryption”, which I take to mean that the data written to the hard drive platters is encrypted and cannot be read without the key.

Can you please point me to a link to the correct forum to ask my main question? Thank you!!

I think I’m “OS 5” and I think I found the correct place for my question: