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Walmart was caught pawning off fake 30TB hard drives

Ah, the perils of having a third-party marketplace.

walmart logo and blurred background
Image: KnowTechie

Walmart has been allowing faked SSDs to be sold on its third-party marketplace. The company has taken the listings down after a security researcher bought one to take apart.

Cybersecurity researcher Ray Redacted first saw a similar external solid-state drive (SSD) on China-based dropshipping marketplace, AliExpress. The thing that tipped him off to a possible fake? A 30-terabyte SSD selling for $30.

Normal, legit external SSDs don’t even exist in that capacity. A 2-terabyte drive from Samsung usually retails around the $250 mark.

Speaking to Motherboard, Ray said he decided to buy one as a learning opportunity to work on with his son. They took it apart together, and what they found was some fakery.

See, the external, supposedly-30TB SSD was nothing of the sort. Instead, they found a custom circuit board with two microSD cards glued to it.

In Windows File Explorer, the drive looked like two 15TB drives. Not what the listing said, but sure, it adds up. Or does it?

READ MORE: Walmart now lets you try virtual clothes on your own body

The weirdness continued with the drive only working over USB 2.0 and only with the cable it shipped with. That would take 250 days to test just one of the two 15TB drives for accuracy.

Of course, the drives aren’t anywhere near 15TB each. The scammer uses two smaller drives, maybe 512GB or 1TB each. Then they write custom firmware for the drive, which makes Windows think it has a larger capacity.

If this was a legit 15TB capacity, it also wouldn’t be reporting at exactly that size in Windows. It’d be 14.89TB or smaller due to how capacities are handled.

To be fair to Walmart, a third-party seller scamming isn’t their fault. What is their fault is not having the tools to audit their third-party items.

The other marketplaces that allow third-party sellers, like eBay and Amazon, also have rampant fraud with SD cards and other storage devices.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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