Lost PW - Any idea, how to unlock my WD Passport HDDs?

category: offtopic [glöplog]
I just try to ask here and hope someone can help. I own two of 2,5" 4 TB WD My Password drives. Since i have been in hospitals for most of my time due fact of health reasons in the past 12+ months, i currently can't remember the assigned passwords.

I know there is a hack/workaround possible, to reset or recover the password / unlock the drive without loosing all the datas on the drive. I would be very grateful for any help. Thanks in advance.
added on the 2020-07-01 13:26:11 by MrVainSCL MrVainSCL

First of all, what technology did you use to encrypt the harddrive? WD smartware? Bitlocker? Truecrypt? Veracrypt?

In the end, it all depends on if any security issues in the product make brute-forcing the password easier. WD Smartware for example back in 2015 were easy to crack due to them using a non-cryptographic random number generator.

It will be really hard and take long, but it might be possible:

The main question is if you have a fixed password scheme that you use for your passwords, and how good that is. Do you passwords contain things that are in a dictionary? What is your typical password length? What characters do you use, which don't you use? If you have a weak password scheme, it might be possible to automatically brute force. Which then gives the question if your drive does self-erase after multiple wrong passwords had been entered. In this case things become more complicated, as you'd have to try take an image of the encrypted drive first etc etc.
added on the 2020-07-01 14:48:56 by scamp scamp
I recently had a friend get in touch regarding an Excel file they couldn't access due to a lost password. Unfortunately due to the length of the password it would have taken two years to crack it - however they did manage to remember the password while reviewing their browser saved passwords - so if you use any kind of password management at all (Firefox, Chrome, Keepass, LastPass, Windows Credential Manager) - view all the raw passwords and see if there's some re-use there.
or recall it from muscle memory... :P
If it's ATA password then you might have some luck with tools like MHDD or Victoria.
added on the 2020-07-01 16:41:30 by rutra80 rutra80
The harddrive is crypted/protected with the buildin manufactor mechanism. This is probaly called WD smartware - i don't really know atm. ("WD Drive Unlock" software)

I have tried the online warranty status to get hopefully the production date. Sadly without luck. I got just this informations by checking the S/N:

Model Number: WDBYFT0040BBK-WESN
Expiration Date: 22-Dec-2020

Model Number: WDBBKD0040BBK-EESN
Expiration Date: 28-Oct-2019 (Out of warranty)

I will take a look to your posted link / reallymine. No, i don't use fixed password shemes nor words from a dictionary. The use of special and upper/lower chars and the length varries from time to time. (btw, i'm not sure if there was a password length limit)

Yes, the drive sadly does a self-erase next time, since all my tries failed - and i have to confirm this action. That's no option for me.

As far as i remember from rumous, there may be a way to read some special blocks from the drives bootblock or any other sections on the harddrive to unlock the saved password/drive with a little amount of work.

Yeah, i know about this like password protected office, zip, rar files. A friend had the same problem around 2000 and we used rainbowtables and a bruteforce tool, to recover successfully the pw!

@Bruno Valero:
i really tried it without success... The passwords are like blown away - or just to good/safe ;-P

If i understand you correctly, the harddrives are not using ATA passwords.

Thanks to all for your help.
added on the 2020-07-02 13:19:33 by MrVainSCL MrVainSCL
Shoot for WD support, maybe they can give some master password if you prove the drive is yours.
added on the 2020-07-02 15:28:53 by rutra80 rutra80
According to them there is officially no possibility. With any other statement, they could finally no longer sell their "My Password" products, which are classified as secure. Maybe we should ask NSA. ;-)
added on the 2020-07-02 15:43:01 by MrVainSCL MrVainSCL
The WD My Passport drives has been analysed a few year ago and weaknesses were found. I'm not sure if they still apply, but your drives may have these weaknesses. The paper is here: https://eprint.iacr.org/2015/1002.pdf, but it is a very technical paper and you have to do a some hw tinkering to get what you need to decrypt.
added on the 2020-07-02 16:32:50 by neon neon
I'm always very skeptical about such questions on the internet. If data on those HDDs is really yours and it's very important to you, then you would definitely write the password and hide it somewhere, otherwise you are either an idiot or those HDDs aren't yours, plain and simple.
added on the 2020-07-02 23:24:12 by dex46... dex46...
I'm always very skeptical about such recommendations on the internet. If you really write down passwords you are either an idiot yourself, or possibly just a burglar who's intentionally giving bad advice so it will be easier for you to nick those HDDs and the data on them, plain and simple.
added on the 2020-07-03 04:05:51 by havoc havoc
Thanks for your help and the link to the pdf. You are right, it seems to be very technical and a bit complicated.
added on the 2020-07-04 21:37:38 by MrVainSCL MrVainSCL