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Was Dropbox Really Hacked?

January 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Around The Net

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Dropbox suffered a major outage over the weekend.

In one of the more bizarre recent incidents, after the service went down on Friday evening a group of hackers claimed to have infiltrated the service and compromised its servers.

However, on the Dropbox blog, Dropbox VP of engineering Ardita Ardwarl told users that hackers were not to blame.

Ardwari said, “On Friday evening we began a routine server upgrade. Unfortunately, a bug installed this upgrade on several active servers, which brought down the entire service. Your files were always safe, and despite some reports, no hacking or DDOS attack was involved.”

The fault occurred when a bug in an upgrade script caused an operating system upgrade to be triggered on several live machines, rendering them inoperative. Although the fault was rectified in three hours, the knock-on effects led to problems that lasted through the weekend for some users.

Dropbox has assured users that there are no further problems and that all users should now be back online. It said that at no point were files in danger, adding that the affected machines didn’t host any user data. In other words, the “hackers” weren’t hackers at all, but attention seeking trolls.

Dropbox claims to have over 200 million users, many of which it has acquired through strategic partnerships with device manufacturers offering free storage with purchases.


The company is looking forward to an initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market, so the timing of such a major outage could not be worse. Dropbox, which includes Bono and The Edge from U2 amongst its investors, has recently enhanced its business offering to appeal to enterprise clients, and such a loss of uptime could affect its ability to attract customers.

Adobe Data Found Online

November 18, 2013 by  
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A computer security firm has discovered data it says belongs to some 152 million Adobe Systems Inc user accounts, suggesting that a breach reported a month ago is much larger than Adobe has so far disclosed and is one of the largest on record.

LastPass, a password security firm, said that it has found email addresses, encrypted passwords and password hints stored in clear text from Adobe user accounts on an underground website frequented by cyber criminals.

Adobe said last week that attackers had stolen data on more than 38 million customer accounts, on top of the theft of information on nearly 3 million accounts that it disclosed nearly a month earlier.

The maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software confirmed that LastPass had found records stolen from its data center, but downplayed the significance of the security firm’s findings.

While the new findings from LastPass indicate that the Adobe breach is far bigger than previously known, company spokeswoman Heather Edell said it was not accurate to say 152 million customer accounts had been compromised because the database attacked was a backup system about to be decommissioned.

She said the records include some 25 million records containing invalid email addresses, 18 million with invalid passwords. She added that “a large percentage” of the accounts were fictitious, having been set up for one-time use so that their creators could get free software or other perks.

She also said that the company is continuing to work with law enforcement and outside investigators to determine the cost and scope of the breach, which resulted in the theft of customer data as well as source code to several software titles.

The company has notified some 38 million active Adobe ID users and is now contacting holders of inactive accounts, she said.

Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy for the non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, said information in an inactive database is often useful to criminals.

He said they might use it to engage in “phishing” scams or attempt to figure out passwords using the hints provided for some of the accounts in the database. In some cases, people whose data was exposed might not be aware of it because they have not accessed the out-of-date accounts, he said.

“Potentially it’s the website you’ve forgotten about that poses the greater risk,” he said. “What if somebody set up an account with Adobe ten years ago and forgot about it and they use the same password there that they use on other sites?”


Flash Finally Comes To Motorola Xoom

March 12, 2011 by  
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Motorola announced on Twitter that the Android software update for the Xoom tablet is being pushed out in phases starting March 11, which includes enhancements to support the upcoming Adobe Flash Player 10.2.

Launched on February 24, the Xoom was pushed out to the market with some seemingly rushed, half done features, just so it arrived on the market before a new iPad. Despite certain hardware advantages over the original and new iPad, the Xoom flaunted 4G radios, SD card memory expansion and Flash support. However, none of these features were actually operational when the device launched.  Read More….