Cloudy with a Chance of Abuse – The File Storage Forecast and the National Weather Service’s App Issues

Last week, a single Android app brought down the U.S National Weather Service website. For more than 24 hours, NWS’ site reported spotty, missing data due to an “abusing android app.” As a result, weather warnings were not available in certain areas and many of NWS offices switched over to social media to provide weather updates. Luckily, the site’s failure did not occur during a genuine emergency, when users might need NWS’ data to remain safe.

Of course, here at Appthority, we’re very familiar with abusing Android apps. Although in this case the NWS worked with the developer to resolve an issue with the app making data requests too frequently, app behavior in an increasingly mobile world often has serious ramifications. Even if there’s no actual malicious intent, now more than ever before companies need deep visibility and granular control over apps that employees may be bringing into the enterprise.

More recently in the news, hundreds of nude, semi-nude and revealing photos were leaked and posted to web forums after allegedly being stolen from the iCloud accounts of celebrities. The perpetrator? An anonymous hacker. This hacker was able to nudge his/her way into high profile celebs’ iCloud accounts and gain access to their private photos. This unfortunate event has one positive side: Consumers are educating themselves on the cloud, while the enterprise continues to raise security questions on the safety of data stored in the cloud. For more helpful tips and reasons for stronger iCloud passwords, read our posting from this summer on iOS ransomware. As noted in our newest App Reputation Report, cloud file storage is one of the top ten riskiest behaviors for mobile apps. Knowing that many users store personal and corporate data side-by-side means sensitive corporate data is also put at-risk when there is a security breach of a consumer cloud file storage solution.

Next week, Appthority will be headed to AirWatch Connect in Atlanta. Please feel free to stop by our booth (#509) if you are visiting the show and see a live demonstration of the Appthority Mobile App Risk Management service.

Thoughts or comment? Reach the Appthority team on Twitter at @Appthority.