Feeds

Dropbox security fubar infuriates customers

Code update calamity compounded by closed mouth

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Storage and file-sharing vendor Dropbox made a huge cock-up during last weekend's upgrade leaving all of its user accounts unlocked.

Encryption is not performed by the cloud provider's client, meaning that all customer information was there for the taking on Sunday between 1.54pm and 5.46pm. Dropbox issued no official comment until yesterday, causing anger among users.

Founder and CTO Arash Ferdowsi confirmed a code update allowed a bug to enter the system to affect its authentication mechanism meaning users did not need passwords to log onto each other's accounts.

"A very small number of users (much less than one per cent) logged in during that period, some of whom could have logged into an account without the correct password. As a precaution, we ended all logged in sessions."

This is understood to equate to up to 250,000 users, among them some irate individuals who vented their spleen on the Dropbox forum at the weekend, threatening to move to a new provider and complaining about the vendor's lack of communication.

Ferdowsi said the firm was investigating whether any accounts were accessed and tampered with and vowed to "immediately notify the account owner" if it unearthed any unusual activity.

"This should never have happened. We are scrutinising our controls and we will be implementing additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again… regardless of how many people were ultimately affected, any exposure at all is unacceptable to us." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.