I’ve mentioned before how I’m able to act as a canary in the email-database coal mine. …And how companies often don’t take my free, valuable chirps seriously. It happened again.
The unique email address I use to access iDrive started receiving spam in February 2018. It wasn’t just any spam; these sophisticated phishing emails were sent to an email address only iDrive had, and also contained my username/login.
When I contacted iDrive, they blew me off.
Then they blew me off again. More accurately, they gave me plenty of lip service, denial, and smoke far up my ass. (All the while admitting other people had contacted them regarding the phishing). This continued for several calls over several weeks. Until I posted publicly on twitter.
iDrive CEO Raghu Kulkarni promptly contacted me.
We talked about the difference between companies reacting appropriately to breaches:
twitter had just announced a big breach and contacted millions upon millions of users asking them to change their passwords
…and companies reacting poorly:
idrive trying to convince a whistle-blower there wasn’t a breach, despite hard evidence. (How does one prove a negative, anyhow?)
In exchange for deleting my tweet, Mr. Kulkarni agreed to set up a crisis communications plan. Within a week’s time, he promised to get all levels of iDrive customer support on board with an appropriate response, should a similar problem arise in the future.
More lip service
Weeks later a friend who signed up for iDrive because of my recommendation contacted them regarding the phishing attempt. He received the same brush-off I did.
iDrive does not take data security seriously.
I only have evidence of a third party accessing email addresses and usernames. Did they also gain access to other allegedly secure bits? I don’t know. Probably not. All the more reason to just react appropriately, and send an email warning customers that somebody gained access to a subset of clients’ usernames and email addresses. …With a little note about how to avoid sophisticated phishing attempts. …Phishing they have hard evidence of. iDrive doesn’t want to do this, clearly.
How did this iDrive breach happen?
Maybe an employee had this info on their laptop or PC, which was then infected with malware. The malware shared the data.
Maybe a former or current employee sold the data to spammers or used it for personal gain?
Maybe it was a good old fashioned breach by some 1990s movie-style hackers.
I can tell you one thing for sure; as in many cases, nobody seems to know. I don’t know how it happened. iDrive won’t even admit there was a breach. What we do know is that iDrive would rather brush evidence of a minor breach under the rug than address it properly.
What would iDrive do after a more serious breach?
I don’t trust them with my data anymore. I’m looking for a new data backup provider. I’ve been with iDrive for years. I really wanted them to do the right thing so I could stay with them. Alas, I don’t trust them, now.
Screenshots of both phishing spams I received are included below. I can only assume the spam continued for others; I set my iDrive email address to return a server error upon message receipt, so I can’t tell you. Spam sucks. So do companies that don’t take security seriously.
Dan Dreifort consults on SEO, UX, and sometimes crawls out of the woodwork to opine on infosec, too, it would seem. His band Cat Shit’s new album (Make America Shit Again) hits in June 2018.