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Dropbox suffers an outage, but it wasn't hackers

Routine maintenance goes titsup
Mon Jan 13 2014, 12:35
Dropbox logo

FILE BACKUP SERVICE 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. µ


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