back to article Researchers find cloud storage apps leave files on smartphones

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that cloud storage apps that say they send files to the cloud also leave retrievable versions of files on the devices. The files aren't there for all to see, but do represent a resource useful to forensic investigators or those willing to look hard – for whatever purpose. …


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  1. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Shock! Stop the press!

    Putting a file on a machine puts the file on the machine!

    Who would expect that!?

    What exactly was the point of this research anyway?

    - "Deleting" a file has never destroyed it on any media, these researchers don't say that the client apps claim to destroy the data and I've not heard of them claiming that either.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shock! Stop the press!

      No shock here, there is no guaranteed security in anything, just an opportunity to break in.

      Those who use the cloud should be under no illusions that what they put there is secure. A secret is only a secret if you are the only person who knows it, once a third party is involved it is no longer secret. As for the security of the cloud, you can access it, the cloud storage supplier has access to it, the authorities have access to it and hackers may get access to it.

  2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    That's how most networked things actually work..

    From a networking perspective we haven't moved on since the days of 300 baud modems insofar that a network is always slower than local storage and less reliable, so a file is always stored locally before opening.

    It's one of my party tricks if I need to show executives why using corporate webmail and reading attachments on hotel computers is not really a good idea: enter "explorer %temp%" on the Windows command line (usually not locked down) and watch data from all that have come before you.. Conferences tend to set up a few machines for guests, and I can usually tell from the reaction of my audience fairly accurately who has used those machines :)

    I can't really understand why anyone would think that this would be different for smartphones, especially in the light of customer expectations of responsiveness.

  3. John 73

    That's how they're supposed to work

    Bizarre 'research'. The point of cloud-sync apps is absolutely NOT to place all files on the server and never to have them on the device. Rather, it's to use the server as a way to ensure that the same files are available on all devices.

    So, for example, I use Dropbox precisely to ensure that I can have local copies of files on my phone/tablet/desktop. If they weren't on the device, what use would they be to me?

    Now, it could be that a 'securely remove from this device' function would be a useful addition to these services, but none claims to offer this AFAIK.

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