Cloud Data, Mobile Devices and Data Vulnerability

They would have lost several days of financial transactions if not for the local on-site backup we installed.

Fortunately we had set up an on-site backup of a customer’s DropBox (and other) data, as they came across sync issues and their company financial data was overwritten by older data. Syncing had been turned off for some reason and only the local data was modified, for days. When syncing was turned back on, the older data on DropBox overwrote the newer local data. Perhaps by customer error? Confusing user interface?

They would have lost several days of financial transactions if not for the local on-site backup we installed, taking care of their user directory (including the DropBox sync folder). We were able to restore the file to the time just before it was overwritten by the old DropBox data, viola! Hours upon hours of reentering data, maybe even losing data, all resolved in minutes.

We’ve long wondered when DropBox will get hit by something and Adobe has now proven a catastrophic loss is possible on a cloud platform. The link below describes how Adobe customers using Lightroom on iOS had all of their images and settings permanently erased. For iOS users not backing up regularly, the data is gone forever.

https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom-cc/kb/lightroom_mobile_5_4.html?red=a

Adobe users lost data and Adobe had no way to restore from a backup. This was, apparently, due to bad programming. No company is immune from this, DropBox could experience something similar.

Because of this we strongly suggest having your DropBox data (and all other cloud data) backed up by your own local system. Bad programming aside, heaven forbid DropBox suffer a hack. We’re sure they work very hard at preventing this, being a super tasty target and treasure trove of data that every foreign state must be drooling over.

Tips for resolving iCloud password issues

Person holding iCloud picture with Blue Sky in the background

On July 4th, Apple experienced issues with most of its iCloud services, per this site. End-users were having trouble signing into iCloud and accessing their accounts, along with Photos, Mail, Backup, Find My Friends, Contacts, Calendars, and more seeing downtime. Apple Stores were also reportedly affected by the outage and were not able to process transactions.

While this issue was eventually resolved by Apple, there could be other times where iCloud has issues and end-users are asked for a password. End-users will tend to try their known password, which in these times will not work. After trying multiple times, end-users will then think they have the wrong password and try another password, which gets saved in the keychain and is wrong. 

This will result in the following scenario for the end-user: 

  • Lost access to their account.
  • Not understanding why they lost access.
  • Not knowing what password is the truly correct password.

This can lead to all sorts of issues. For example, Denial of Service attacks can be leveraged to get end-users to use side channels, and these side channels can be loaded with spam and other undesirable internet materials. In the event there are issues with iCloud and passwords, it is recommended to do the following procedure:

  • At the first prompt for a password for an account that has been working fine up to that point, just ignore for a few minutes. 
  • After this, the first move should be to power cycle the computer (shut it down (not restarting), giving the computer 5-10 seconds to rest, and then powering it back on). 
  • If it is still asking for a password that worked previously, check for service interruptions and/or contact tech support. 
  • If the account is of security concern, consider logging into the account via a different method and reset the account password. 
  • Make sure you didn’t get locked out by a hacker. It is important that you determine this ASAP because the longer you wait after they log you out, the more time they have to get into other accounts and lock you out. 
    • If you find you have been locked out of your account, change passwords in your other accounts, starting from highest priority to lowest.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss further, let us know!