On Monday, a group of hackers posted a message on Pastebin claiming they have “hacked” nearly 7 million Dropbox accounts. The cloud storage giant said the data was stolen from other services, not from its own systems.
The hackers have already published hundreds of email addresses and associated passwords in clear text. They claim they will publish more as they get Bitcoin donations, but so far only 0.0001 BTC has been transferred to their address.
Reddit users have confirmed that at least some of the credentials are valid, but Dropbox says the information has been stolen from other services. In an effort to protect its customers from such attacks, the company is resetting the passwords for compromised accounts.
“Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox. We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens,” Dropbox Security Engineer Anton Mityagin wrote in a blog post.
The company advises its customers to avoid using the same password on multiple online services. Dropbox also recommends the activation of two step verification for an extra layer of security.
“The recent Dropbox credentials leak shows once again how easy it is for cyber-criminals to seize personal user data at a massive scale. However, judging by the large number of accounts registered with specific e-free webmail providers, there is a small chance that the data was actually obtained via phishing,” Bogdan Botezatu, Senior E-Threat Analyst at Bitdefender, said via email. “However the data may have been obtained, the risk is still out there: these accounts have been exposed and anyone could have logged in to copy private files belonging to the user during the window of opportunity.”
Last week, in support of the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Dropbox published an advisory to warn its users about phishing and malware attacks.