A couple weeks ago, a few hundred Dropbox users noticed they were receiving loads of spam about online casinos and gambling websites, at email addresses those users had set up only for Dropbox-related actions. The online file storage service now admits that hackers snagged usernames and passwords from third party sites, and used this data to break into those Dropbox users' accounts. Dara Kerr, reporting for CNET:
"Our investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of Dropbox accounts. We've contacted these users and have helped them protect their accounts," the company wrote in a blog post today. "A stolen password was also used to access an employee Dropbox account containing a project document with user email addresses. We believe this improper access is what led to the spam."
Over at Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin has more. Evidently, the illicit access happened because a Dropbox employee’s account was hacked.
Dropbox noted that users should set up different passwords for different sites. The site is also increasing its own security measures. In a few weeks, Dropbox said it will start offering an optional two-factor authentication service. This could involve users logging in with a password as well as a temporary code sent to their phones.
Good to hear. Google is another popular service that offers such two-step authentication for its services, and I'm a big fan of that. And, of course, it's always smart not to use, say, the same easily-cracked password for Dropbox that you do for your onling banking.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.