#EpicFail: Netgear Loses Customer Data

A day after a really mind blowing bug with their router management software on macOS that they for whatever reason will not fix, Netgear has had to fess up to losing customer data that was stored on their cloud service. The Register has the details:

This week, the San Jose-based networking business sent an email to customers, seen by The Register, confirming that an “outage” affecting ReadyCLOUD, the free service for its network attached storage offering, caused the storage systems to disconnect from the cloud service and be marked as deleted at the end of March.

Compounding the issue, as part of a clean-up process, Netgear decided that when a ReadyCloud account is marked as closed, the NAS holding that account’s home folder should be deleted along with all of the data it was holding.

As one user complained to The Register: “In practice, accounts are generally deleted from the NAS admin screen by the user and a big warning flashes up to tell you that all data will be deleted. In this case, as the glitch was server side, no warning was presented and loads of people found that their home folders and data had mysteriously been deleted, by the looks of it, at the command of Netgear.”

The Reg reader got in touch to say that the outage lost all of his photographs of a trip with his 18-month-old daughter to Disneyland, and complained that despite Netgear’s claims they had identified all users, the company had not yet contacted him.

That’s a really huge screw up. After all, when a company offers a service where they store your data, they have a responsibility to protect said data. The fact that they were unable to do that in this case is appalling. Now the company claims that only 40 or 50 people lost data, but we’ll find out what the real number is when the inevitable class action lawsuit gets filed. The company is also trying to recover the data, but I think that may be futile. Which is another reason why there will be a class action lawsuit. Finally, they’ve fixed the issue that caused this, but that is cold comfort to those who lost data. Clearly this, combined with the story that I posted yesterday, not to mention their issues with their routers security from last year, seems to indicate that Netgear is a company that perhaps you might want to steer clear of.

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