Dropbox cancels unlimited storage, blames cryptocurrency miners for hogging bandwidth

The cloud storage service believes crypto miners are taking advantage of its generosity

Dropbox has switched its platform to metered storage after recently discovering its Advanced plan was utilized for resources-intensive tasks like crypto mining.

In a blog post on August 24, the online storage platform said its unlimited Advanced plan has instead shifted to a metered storage plan, giving new users 15 terabytes of storage.

Dropbox was aware that its “all the space you need” plan would result in varying usage levels. However, it recently noticed a significant surge with some clients using “thousands of times more storage than our genuine business customers.”

Dropbox said, “A growing number of customers were buying Advanced subscriptions not to run a business or organization, but instead for purposes like crypto and Chia mining.” Other high-resource uses revealed by Dropbox included customers reselling storage or groups pooling their storage together for non-business use.

Dropbox noted the unintended increase in usage follows “other services making similar policy changes.” Microsoft and Google also recently ended their unlimited storage plans. It added that it understands that ending the unlimited storage plan on its platform is “disappointing,” adding that it would no longer be sustainable and challenging to enforce unacceptable use cases.

Hackers have previously used cryptojacking malware that was inserted into the victim’s cloud-storage account or web-connected device. The program then uses the cloud service or device’s resources to create a virtual crypto-mining machine.

Google said in 2021 that hackers targeting users on its storage platform could take 22 seconds to compromise an account and install mining malware.