The problem was first noticed by an outfit called Algolia which noticed that some of its Samsung SSDs were going down for no reason. After trying to find the source of the fault it got Samsung on the blower and it turned out that it was not a hardware problem after all.
Samsung could not reproduce the error and it could not find anything wrong with the scripts that Algolia had written for them.
However its engineers worked out that there was a serious fault in the Linux kernel which was turning SSDs to jelly, at least under certain conditions.
The Linux kernel error can affect any SSD under the same operating conditions.
The code included something called TRIM which allows an operating system to tell a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped. TRIM was giving false information and the SSDs were being wiped.
Open Saucers called for TRIM be abandoned for a while and it has been disabled in many systems. It appears the Linux core was switching it on.
Samsung has developed a kernel patch to resolve this issue. The testing code is available on GitHub.
What is perhaps worrying is how this problem has never been spotted before.