Opportunity For MSPs courtesy of Dropbox?

By Stuart_R_Crawford
In MSP Coaching
July 23, 2012

Article By Stuart Crawford

Dropbox Email Accounts in Europe Receive Spam?

Nobody likes receiving spam … anywhere. Dropbox users in Europe found themselves receiving spam in their Dropbox accounts via email addresses that some said were solely used for Dropbox. This led to speculation that the file sharing company might have been hacked.

According to TechCrunch, there are a number of ways that a spammer could have gotten hold of Dropbox users’ email addresses.

“Spambots sometimes try random emails until they get a hit; the users may have malware on their PCs [that] has captured their email through other methods (like a keylogger, for example), and there’s a chance that another third-party app, which integrates with Dropbox, may actually be the source of the problem. Dropbox is looking into these claims right now, according to the latest official word from the company.”

Despite Dropbox’s assurances, some users don’t like the way the company has handled things at all.

Dropbox member Marcius H. posted on the company’s forum:

I’ll be deleting my Dropbox account after posting this message.
Why?  I know it won’t stop the spam that’s already started, this is more out of principle and loss of faith. While I understand that Dropbox believe no user data in dropboxes were compromised I do feel that the evidence is very clear that email addresses of Dropbox users have somehow been leaked.

To reiterate my experience:

1. An email account on my domain *unique* to Dropbox is now receiving spam from ‘Online Gaming Inc’, ‘EU Dice’ and ‘Euro Dice’ – no other spam at all on the account.

2. The ‘catchall’ account on the same domain is *not* getting spam from ‘Online Gaming Inc’, ‘EU Dice’ and ‘Euro Dice’.

3. All accounts on this domain that are linked to a Dropbox account *are* getting spam from ‘Online Gaming Inc’, ‘EU Dice’ and ‘Euro Dice’

I appreciate that this email ‘leak’ could have been from Dropbox or a thirdparty application that uses the Dropbox API.

Statement from Dropbox “We’ve reached out to users who’ve reported receiving spam messages.” *No* contact from Dropbox despite the above statement on many news sites.

Dropbox users in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have had experiences similar to that of Marcius H.

Until recently, Dropbox has been a convenient and easily affordable solution for many small-business owners and independent contractors. Since the spam incident, pundits have started advising people to avoid using Dropbox to share or store business files or any other documents that contain vital information, just in case there’s more to the recent spam attacks than meets the eye.

Managed IT services providers (MSPs) have a great opportunity in front of them, courtesy of Dropbox. File sharing and cloud storage solutions are often standard offerings from MSPs that are easily as affordable as Dropbox and considerably more secure. In addition to file sharing and cloud storage, for a single monthly fee, MSPs also provide services like backup and data recovery, email monitoring, 24/7 help desk and much more.

As of July 23, 2012, Dropbox has issued no new information on the subject. Although there have been no reports of spam emails going to U.S. Dropbox users, it couldn’t hurt for U.S. small-business owners who have been using Dropbox as a file sharing and cloud storage solution for their businesses might want to consider talking with an MSP about the affordable and secure solutions they offer.

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Author: Stuart R. Crawford