Dropbox Bug Restores Deleted Files 7 Years Later

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    This article is merely entertaining if you stay within the headline, but it becomes disturbing once you get into the story and realize that Dropbox’s policy is to keep deleted files only for 30 days. Ever the cynic, I will go ahead and consider the possibility that the file hosting service has been consciously keeping files around forever. The company does blame a “bug” that was “preventing some files and folders from being fully deleted”—but that seems like quite the slip up for something that is clearly spelled out in their retention policy.

    By default, Dropbox saves deleted and previous versions of files for 30 days in case you want to recover them. After the 30-day mark, the deleted files are marked for deletion in our system and are purged from our servers. They can no longer be recovered after that point. A bug was preventing some files and folders from being fully deleted off of our servers, even after users had deleted them from their Dropbox accounts. While fixing the bug, we inadvertently restored the impacted files and folders to those users’ accounts. This was our mistake; it wasn’t due to a third party and you weren’t hacked.
     
  2. Meeho

    Meeho [H]ardness Supreme

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    It's best to consider any file you upload anywhere on the Internet to be publicly accessible forever.
     
  3. VIC-20

    VIC-20 Gawd

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    I have always assumed Web and Cloud storage services never delete anything and merely hide your stuff from you when you click "delete".
     
  4. Gweenz

    Gweenz [H]ard|Gawd

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    Was it a "bug", or intentional? This smells like bullshit.
     
  5. endalykt

    endalykt Limp Gawd

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    Mega. Forget anything else.
     
  6. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That's why once my free Dropbox 50Gb promo runs out, I might go with Mega. It's cheaper and supposedly does encryption.

    As a rule of thumb, it's best not to keep any file in a cloud storage system that you a) don't mind getting out or b) didn't encrypt yourself.
     
  7. oROEchimaru

    oROEchimaru [H]ardness Supreme

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    Drop box tries their hardest to sell its storage to hospitals, schools and the government. Most healthcare organizations for liability purposes want files gone within six months or specific ones retained for lawyers 7 years. I imagine this will have alot of healthcare lawyers upset today.
     
  8. Michaelius

    Michaelius [H]ardness Supreme

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    Someone connected NSA backup to customer interface by mistake? ;)

    Seriously - who keeps data in cloud and still thinks it's not shared with anyone else ?
     
  9. whateverer

    whateverer Gawd

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    Facebook keeps your profile data, because it's important demographic data for advertisers, and for other people searching
    Facebook.

    Dropbox ditches your data because they have no business case for keeping it.
     
  10. Uncle

    Uncle 2[H]4U

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    Drop Box isn't the first. Makes me wonder if it is a bug. FaceBook does the same. I followed all the direction to delete everything on Facebook. With outside help also. Five years later I inadvertently hit a link to Facebook and it rebuilt and setup my old account. After five yrs it still had my old login and password. So much for deletion and my naivety.
     
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  11. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    Get [H] already, run your ownCloud and take control.
     
  12. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hmmm, I should log into my old DropBox account and see if the files I deleted have re-appeared.
     
  13. Grahamkracka

    Grahamkracka [H]ard|Gawd

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    Except they apparently don't delete it.
     
  14. Azrak

    Azrak Gawd

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    Somewhere out there in Dropbox land....

    Dropbox manager: Hey Bill, how come our data center hard drives are reporting 90% full when I manually check them, but they are only 43% full according to the user content usage reports? I just got paged by the "low disk space available" low-level alarm program that triggers when 10% physical space is available.
    Bill, the Dropbox engineer: Hmm, dunno. Let me check. <a few minutes later> Holy crap! The auto-purge script that's supposed to delete files 30 days after they've been marked for deletion by users hasn't been working since, get this..... 2014!! Stuff's just been sitting there, using more and more space over time.
    Dropbox manager: Dafuq? How come?
    Bill, the Dropbox engineer: Looks like the script was updated to use a new search path but that path doesn't exist or was changed, so the deletes never happen. It's right in the logs, but I guess nobody checks them.
    Dropbox manager: Swell. Can we fix it and get some drive space back? I don't want us to run out of disk space.
    Bill, the Dropbox engineer: Yeah, I think so. <a few minutes later> Ah shit. I just accidentally "restored" the files back to user space instead of actually deleting them. My bad, sorry.
    Dropbox manager: You idiot! Now we have to tell the public about this. Grumble, grumble...
     
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  15. Uncle

    Uncle 2[H]4U

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    "Dropbox manager: Swell. Can we fix it and get some drive space back? I don't want us to run out of disk space.
    "Bill, the Dropbox engineer: Yes I'm looking for some cheap Cloud space."
     
  16. Gweenz

    Gweenz [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is honestly exactly what I pictured happening. There are 2 possibilities here, Dropbox is lying or Dropbox is incompetent. Which is better?
     
  17. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Gawd

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    The bug was not fixed for years due to pressure from the FBI, NSA, CIA, etc...

    I think that was left out of the press release.
     
  18. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh good, all of my old pr0n is back!
     
  19. Azrak

    Azrak Gawd

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    Yeah, I wanted to put a jab in there about how quickly they've had to increase the total storage of the system since 2014 but it just got too complicated and boring. "Dropbox manager: No wonder we've had to buy so much storage over the years. It wasn't the increase in user usage, but lack of deletes happening!"
    Disk space is cheap. :)
     
  20. DocFaustus

    DocFaustus 2[H]4U

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    your early videos were better anyway....
     
  21. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    What I love nowadays is anytime I delete something - and I mean what I think means deleting it forever, of course, because it says "Click here to delete these files forever..." and then you say yes/OK and it asks you a second time confirm you're doing this with full knowledge that the files will be gone forever and then saying yes/OK again - and as soon as the action is completed I get a message from the service that just supposedly deleted those files telling me "Click here to recover files you've deleted in the past..." and voila, there they are, days, months, sometimes weeks later.

    This shit is getting out of hand, really.

    It's getting there, not as cheap as it should be, but the bigger issue is the power bills from all the increased physical drives of all kinds 'cause power ain't cheap.
     
  22. buhbuhfet

    buhbuhfet Limp Gawd

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    it's just a "bug", they didn't notice the harddrive space fill up for the past 7yrs?
    lies