Security

Could the ‘Canon’ Cloud Service Outage Be the Result of a Ransomware Attack?

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated August 5, 2020

For six full days, users of ‘Canon’ cameras couldn’t access the company’s cloud storage service hosted on the “image.canon” domain. Canon has set up this service for its customers to help them immediately upload their pictures and videos via WiFi, making sharing and storing media a breeze. People are offered the first 10GB of permanent storage for free, so this is for all Canon users and not just a small sub-category.

Yesterday, the service returned online, but interestingly, all data from people’s personal albums had been wiped.

The announcement Canon talks about “an issue” that called for an investigation, and this is what forced the company to temporarily suspend both the mobile app and the web-based service of image.canon. Allegedly, this investigation resulted in the confirmation of the user data deletion. The only things that haven’t been lost are the image thumbnails of the deleted files, although even mentioning this is an insult to the users.

All of this sounds like a typical ransomware attack, but Canon declared that there was no leak of image data, which is a weird statement to make with confidence right now. The service returned online, all personal cloud storage files are gone, but there has been no data leak.

Could this mean that the cloud storage service was left exposed on an unprotected server and got wiped by a bot? Even then, how could Canon state that there has been no leak of image data? The camera maker is offering no further explanations, and just concludes its announcement with an apology for the inconvenience. If this is enough for you to trust image.canon with your files, go ahead.

In any case, we wouldn’t suggest that you upload sensitive content that could expose yourself or others. Canon isn’t as transparent as we would have preferred, and they even gave an entirely different story on their social media about the systems being down for maintenance.

If you’re looking for an alternative cloud storage service to upload your images, Dropbox, Google Photos, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, pCould, IDrive, and Adobe Creative Cloud are all great choices.

Of course, “the cloud” is just another person’s computer, so having your photos leaked is never precluded from life’s possibilities no matter which service you’re using. If you need to upload sensitive content on the cloud, you should encrypt it first.



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