Dropbox (the online cloud storage provider) was recently in the news for some security and privacy vulnerabilities. What was the problem, and what has been done to resolve it?

  • 6
    In my opinion, this is not a great question for IT Security. You could have learned the answer by simply using Google. If you can't take the time to do a simple Google search before posting your question, you are being disrespectful to others on this site: I think we ought to be able to expect at a minimum that you will spend 5 minutes with Google before expecting others to volunteer their time to help you.
    – D.W.
    Jul 18, 2011 at 2:04

3 Answers 3


There was been at least five issues reported over the past few months

  1. Problem with authentication, ie if you could access a hard disc that contained a dropbox folder you would have continuous access to their dropbox data
  2. Data stored in dropbox is accessible by dropbox employees
  3. A recent code update meant that any dropbox account could be accessed with just the users email address for a short period of time.
  4. The Terms of service were recently updated to give Dropbox much wider privileges to your data
  5. You can detect if another user has uploaded a file to dropbox by monitoring the amount of time it takes to upload the file

I know of two in the last little while. Wired did a reasonably good job explaining both: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/06/dropbox/ and http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/05/dropbox-ftc/.

  • 2
    Down-voted for no actual content in answer.
    – Iszi
    Jul 17, 2011 at 5:11
  • 1
    @Iszi Really? Come on... It was a googleable answer that they could have found themself.
    – Steve
    Jul 17, 2011 at 16:46
  • 2
    @SteveS - exactly, we shouldnt encourage googlebait. I didnt downvote you, but I strongly considered closing the question... As I discussed in Information Security Chat.
    – AviD
    Jul 17, 2011 at 21:51

Basically what it gets at is the same thing as always, you need to encrypt data before giving it to a third party. The other security problem is you can masquerade as the properly authenticated user for an account. Schneier dropbox article

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.