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Dropbox: Yes we went down, but not because of hackers

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The popular Dropbox cloud storage and file sharing site went down Friday night with some issues lingering into Saturday. The San Francisco company acknowledged the service disruption on its tech blog, but disputed claims that it was taken down by hackers and attributed the issues to a maintenance issue.

“Claims of leaked user information are a hoax. The outage was caused by internal maintenance,” according to the blog.

Update: A Dropbox spokesman said Dropbox site and applications were fully restored at 4:40 p.m. PST Sunday night. 

Update: On Sunday night, a Dropbox spokeswoman emailed a statement:

“On Friday night we experienced a site-wide outage from 5:30pm until 8:28pm caused by unexpected technical issues during a routine server upgrade. Over 99% of our users can now access their files via, but some are still experiencing other problems. We’ve been providing regular updates on our tech blog at We’re working around the clock to resolve any remaining issues and are deeply sorry for the disruption.”

An affiliate of Anonymous claimed responsibility for an attack which it said took down the service to avenge the death, a year ago, of Aaron Swartz, according to the New York Times Bits blog.

According to Dropbox’ own timeline, the site went down as of 6:40 p.m. PST on Friday and was restored at about 8:36 p.m. Only it really wasn’t — Dropbox acknowledged some service issues related to the initial outage persisted into Sunday morning. It was working for 99 percent of users by 4:10 a.m. PST Sunday, according to Dropbox,  a number that is difficult for outside parties to confirm.

When Dropbox has a hiccup, it gets noticed: It claimed 200 million users as of November.

Note: This story was updated at 3:55 p.m. on January 12, 2014 with a statement from Dropbox and again at 5:50 a.m. PST January 13 with news that Dropbox was fully restored. 

7 Responses to “Dropbox: Yes we went down, but not because of hackers”

  1. alexhobbs

    DropBox will always be a target for both NSA snooping and hackers, as it is so big. I would advise any business to opt for their key data to be stored on private rather than public clouds, and only use public clouds for test / development. We use for our private cloud and DropBox for test stuff and this hybrid cloud apporahc seems to be the way forward

  2. Well, well. Took them more than 2 hours: 48 hours to be precise – in my case as a paying customer at least.

    Worst of all: Authentication servers did not work. I had some syncing still working but every time I tried to sign-on it did not work. So there is still a high probability that this outage was due to a security issue, not a connectivity issue!

    Dropbox should have been open about these issues. Instead they tried to hide and wait. Pre-IPO habits…

  3. Robert Arthur

    Please be skeptical of Dropbox’s claims. On their tech blog, their latest update states that only “5% of our users are still experiencing problems syncing from the desktop client.” There is no way to independently confirm that figure, and the company has been minimizing the extent of the problem all weekend. Their “updates” are more like spin from corporate lawyers (and I’m a lawyer, so I know what we sound like).