Taking Your Ball And Going Home; Building Your Own Secure Storage Space That Mirrors Dropbox's Functionality

Presented at DEF CON 19 (2011), Aug. 7, 2011, 1 p.m. (20 minutes)

When for-profit companies offer a free app, there is always going to be strings attached. As we have increasingly seen, these strings are often tied to your privacy to enable said third party company to monetize you in some way, but in worse cases your security can be compromised leaving you open to identity theft at best or legal repercussions at worst. One of today's most ubiquitous apps is Dropbox, which operates as a file hosting service that uses "cloud computing" (aka the internet) to enable users to store and share files and folders with others using file synchronization. Sounds harmless enough until you start thinking about how they can do so much for free. Learn about the flaws discovered by security researchers that have caused Dropbox to significantly change their terms of service, and about a group building a free, open sourced option for anyone to use to share and protect their data with. Learn, get involved, help and CYA, because for-profit third party companies are not going to do it for you.


  • Phil Cryer
    Phil Cryer (fak3r) is a systems engineer and privacy advocate who has worked on Linux and open source solutions for over 10 years. While balancing security with openness he has lectured globally on ways to open data silos to facilitate scientific discovery, but is equally comfortable talking about sharing any kind of data. His favorite memory from previous DEFCONs was yelling at the screen during a late night screening of Wargames, but locking himself out of his own room at last year's con is a close second. He learns by doing, believes that imagination is more important than knowledge, and like all good IT professionals, has a bachelor degree in fine arts. Twitter: @fak3r