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Mysterious Overnight File Deletion

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I noticed at 11:30am this morning that seemingly 85% of the files and folders on my Dropbox account were deleted.

The logs show that a web session, with my username, made all of the above deletions between 6:25 and 6:28am that morning. This is extremely confusing to put it mildly, as I was asleep at the time.

A check of the security logs shows no devices or IP addresses that were unknown to me. Based on the logs, I had two active web sessions (MacOS laptop, Win10 desktop), and three linked devices (MacOS laptop sync, Win10 desktop sync, iPhone app). The session that initiated the deletions came from my Win10 desktop, and was logged into my username.

I received no email notification from Dropbox about the deletions, despite the fact that I have the "file deletion email alerts" setting enabled on my account.

I've rolled back the deletions with the help of Dropbox support, so no worries about the files. But trying to figure out what in the HELL happened is driving me absolutely up the wall.

Short of sleepwalking, or a poltergeist, I have no rational explanation for how the deletions were initiated. Would love to hear from the community any insights or threads to pull on that I've missed.

I'm not in front of my desktop box right now, but I'm going to check my system logs for potential VNC sessions that were initiated overnight. Someone gaining remote access to my box, and using it to semi-randomly delete some, but not all, of my Dropbox seems implausible, but who knows?

Any other simple explanations for this that I'm missing?

1 Reply 1

Re: Mysterious Overnight File Deletion

Hey @Schmordacus, although I can’t exactly pin-point why the deletions occurred, I’d recommend checking out this article by @Jay who proposes some ideas on the matter. 
In the meantime, I’ll keep this thread open in case any other users have further input, but if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get back to us. Thanks! 

Community Moderator @ Dropbox

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