Everyone’s favorite cloud storage service, Dropbox, has taken some beatings lately with some lapses in security and privacy changes. On Monday, it was revealed that a code update introduced a bug into the system for over four hours that allowed users to login to any account using any password. Now, as reported by Techcrunch, the findings from the investigation by the Dropbox team has revealed that fewer than 100 accounts were affected during the breach.
When reports first surfaced about the security bug, Dropbox claimed than “much less than 1 percent” of users were potentially affected. Dropbox has notified affected users since then via email providing even more specific details about the event. According to the letters, the affected accounts were all accessed by a single individual; they weren’t accidental logins. Fortunately, the Dropbox team was able to push out a fix quickly as soon as they had discovered the bug. Who knows how much damage could have been done if this bug was left unfixed any longer.
One of the letter’s sent out to affected users was obtained by Techcrunch and is provided in its entirety below:
Subject: Important Dropbox Security Notice – Please Read
Earlier this week, we wrote to tell you about a security lapse at Dropbox. Today I am writing to tell you something I never expected to tell a customer. During our forensic analysis, we discovered that an extremely small number of accounts, including yours, were subject to some suspicious activity.
Our investigation revealed that at around xx:xx on x/xx/xxxx someone logged into your account. It is likely that your account was compromised by a third party. According to our records, neither your account settings nor files were modified. Information such as file and folder names would have been viewable, but our records do not indicate that any files were viewed or downloaded. Nevertheless, as a precaution we recommend that you take the following steps:
* If you had sensitive, personal, or financial information in your Dropbox or in the names of the files in your Dropbox account (for example, credit card numbers, bank account information, social security numbers) you should monitor your credit for any suspicious activity. You can learn more about identity theft at the FTC’s Identity Theft Site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/ .
* We have made arrangements for you to have free access to a credit monitoring service. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to use this program. You may also want to consider canceling any credit cards whose information was located in the folders listed above.
* If you stored passwords in your Dropbox, please make sure to change those passwords as soon as possible.
* Again, we urge you to review your account for any unauthorized activity and inform us immediately about your concerns.
As we mentioned earlier, the security lapse occurred during a code update that introduced a bug affecting our authentication mechanism. We will continue our investigations, but as best as we can tell right now, a single individual took advantage of the lapse to access fewer than a hundred accounts. Our team has been working around the clock to understand what happened and to make sure that it never happens again.
I cannot express how deeply sorry I am. Dropbox is my life, and I know that we are only as good as the trust we have built with our customers. This should not have happened, and I am hopeful that you will give us the chance to make this right and regain your trust.
I am here and ready to answer your questions and do whatever I can to help. Please do not hesitate to call me at +x-xxx-xxx-xxxx. Or if you’d like me to call you just reply with your phone number and I’ll give you a call.
Written by Dropbox’s CEO himself, Drew Houston, it’s nice to see that he has personally offered to let affected users contact him via phone. Despite that, I’m concerned that Dropbox did not make the effort to notify every registered user rather than just users whose accounts were accessed. With over 25 million users, Dropbox is becoming a vital tool to more mainstream users, rather than its early tech folks. Every single one of those users deserve to be made aware of what happened.