Shortly after the Dropbox website went down last Friday, a hacker group that goes by the name 1175 Sec went forward to claim responsibility for the incident. The hacker group said in a tweet that the "attack" on the Dropbox website was made to commemorate the first anniversary of Internet activist Aaron Swartz's death.

Despite the claims of the group, Dropbox issued an announcement denying that their site went down due to a hostile attack. The company said that the site was down due to "internal maintenance," and nothing more. The popular cloud-based storage service provider also said that no sensitive user data was stolen or compromised during the incident.

Dropbox also assured its users that it has identified the main cause of the incident and that the problem is currently being dealt with. The company said that the issue was discovered during a routine maintenance check and has since apologized for the inconvenience the downtime may have caused for its users.

Now, here's the truth. 1775 Sec said that its previous tweet about hacking Dropbox was a hoax, aimed at drawing the media's attention, but added that it did take down Dropbox via a distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attack. The hacker group also found the uproar that followed the incident as hilarious due to the fact that a hacking attempt would not be possible when a site is undergoing downtime.

Aaron Swartz, whose name was dragged into the issue, was a writer, programmer and an Internet activist who worked on a number of fairly successful and well-known projects such as Reddit, Creative Commons and RSS. Swartz committed suicide last Jan. 11, 2013. Before dying however, Swartz was involved in a number of controversial acts, one of which got him arrested and charged with a possible jailtime of 35-years. The arrest was due to an accusation that Swartz illegally downloaded academic journals from JSTOR. Swartz was also one of the founders of the Internet activist group Demand Progress, that advocated free and open Internet.

Following the events last Friday, a few things are now clear. First, the Dropbox website did go down. Second, the hacker group 1775 Sec did carry out a DDoS attack in memory of Aaron Swartz. Third, no data was compromised and Dropbox is currently working on fixing the problem. The rest are all myth.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.