Dropbox denies hackers caused its website outage

The website of cloud storage service Dropbox went down briefly on Friday night, with hackers claiming responsibility.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

The website of cloud storage service Dropbox went down briefly on Friday night, with hackers claiming responsibility. But Dropbox denies it was hacked, saying the outage was due to internal maintenance. Just before the site went down, hacking group The 1775 Sec tweeted: "Breaking News: We have just compromised the @Dropbox website dropbox.com".

Dropbox denied this. It said in a tweet: "Dropbox site is back up! Claims of leaked user info are a hoax. The outage was caused during internal maintenance. Thanks for your patience!" I contacted Dropbox for clarification, and was directed to a page with the same statement on it.

Anyone visiting the Dropbox website during the outage would have seen this message: "We are aware of an issue currently affecting the Dropbox site. We have identified the cause, which was the result of an issue that arose during routine internal maintenance, and are working to fix this as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience."

According to Business Insider, it wasn't just the Dropbox website that was out of action, but its desktop application too.

One Twitter account claiming to be associated with hackers Anonymous claimed to have access to Dropbox's user information, but The 1775 Sec said this wasn't the case. It was just a denial of service (DDoS) attack, The 1775 Sec said, saying it hadn't compromised Dropbox security or user data.

Even if Dropbox wasn't hacked, hackers have still been busy of late. A Russian hacker took over a BBC server on Christmas Day and tried to sell access to it, while nearly 5 million Snapchat names and phone numbers were leaked by hackers at the start of the year. But that's small beer compared to the hack on American tech shop Target. It recently revealed that a hack back in November led to 70 million customers having their payment card and personal data stolen from the store's databases.

Have you ever been hacked? How can you keep your data safe online? Let me know in the comments, or on our Fort Knox-like Facebook page.