The online storage platform Dropbox has binned its unlimited storage plan after discovering some of its users were using the service for resource-intensive purposes like mining crypto.
In an Aug. 24 blog post, Dropbox said its unlimited Advanced plan has instead moved to a metered storage plan with new users getting 15 terabytes of storage — apparently enough to house 100 million documents.
It added it knew its “all the space you need” plan would result in uneven usage levels but in recent months it had seen a surge in some users consuming “thousands of times more storage than our genuine business customers.”
“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.”
Dropbox said other high-resource uses included some reselling its storage or multiple individuals pooling storage for personal use.
Dropbox cited the increased unintended usage growth following “other services making similar policy changes.” Microsoft and Google have also scrapped their unlimited storage plans in recent months.
The company said it understands the move is “disappointing” but added it would be unsustainable and difficult to enforce a list of unacceptable use cases.
In the past, hackers have used cryptojacking malware that’s inserted into a victim’s internet-connected device or cloud-storage account.
The malicious program uses the resources of the device or cloud service to create a virtual machine that mines cryptocurrencies.
In 2021, Google said some attackers targeting its storage platform users could compromise an account and install mining software within 22 seconds.