back to article OK Google: A stranger with stash of pirated films is spamming my Google Team Drive

Google seems powerless to stop its Google Drive file sharing service being exploited by a spammer who has linked other users to their stash of pirated movies, among other dubious files, users have complained. Team Drives is part of Google’s G Suite offering, aimed at businesses, education and other professional organisations. …

  1. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Joke

    Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

    If he held an EL Reg Gold Badge I might listen to him

    1. yoganmahew

      Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

      Really :)

      You get a free product staffed by volunteers (it sounds like) and it turns out to be shit, but you've based your business on it? Worse, you've paid good money for what's essentially an unsupported service with no SLA?

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

        The article said this thing was *aimed* at businesses.

        "Team Drives is part of Google’s G Suite offering, aimed at businesses, education and other professional organisations."

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

          > You get a free product staffed by volunteers

          It's a paid-for product, as stated in the article. As for the staff, at least they are able to read unlike some people who for some reason feel qualified to comment.

          1. yoganmahew

            Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

            My bad, sorry about that.

            So you're saying a paid solution with 24/7 support fundamentally doesn't work?

            edit: by fundamentally doesn't work, I mean it doesn't keep your drive details private - anyone can link to your 'team', so they know it exists?

            1. Deltics
              Megaphone

              Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

              Since when did the existence of a monetisation model provide any sort of warranty for fitness for purpose in the software industry ?

              It's the single biggest thing wrong that was never fixed in this business. If your car has a defect and kills people as a result, the manufacturer is liable. If your software has a defect and kills people, well, there was no warranty for fitness for purpose and we don't accept liability. Thanks for the call. Byeeeee.

              Or better yet: Sure we've been aware of this problem for some years. You can fix it by upgrading to a whole new set of defects for just $x,xxx.

              By contrast:

              I just had the airbag fixed in my Mazda 6 due to a manufacturing defect. The car is 13 years old and I am not even the original (as in "first") owner since I bought it pre-loved. I've never paid a dime to Mazda other than in the form of their service agent in NZ for servicing over the years I've owned the vehicle. Despite this, Mazda (the manufacturer, not the service agent) were able to contact me to inform me of the issue and arranged the fix at no cost to me. I doubt anybody thinks this is unusual or unexpected.

              Imagine suggesting this sort of responsibility and liability for remediation rests with a software vendor.

              I can hear the laughter now.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

          "The article said this thing was *aimed* at businesses."

          And it missed by a mile.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

        >>You get a free product staffed by volunteers (it sounds like) and it turns out to be shit, but you've based your business on it? Worse, you've paid good money for what's essentially an unsupported service with no SLA?

        That type of environment and many many other shortcomings are why most enterprises go for Office 365 instead.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

      If he held an EL Reg Gold Badge I might listen to him

      Got one. My advice is to have a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake.

      After that, I might choose to mutter something rude about Google.

      Do their products ever come out of Beta?

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

        "Do their products ever come out of Beta?"

        Yes, when they discontinue them :)

        1. DJV Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @MonkeyCee

          "Yes, when they discontinue them :)"

          +1 Comment of the week!

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

        Got one. My advice is to have a cup of tea and a Jaffa Cake.

        After that, I might choose to mutter something rude about Google.

        have a Jaffa Cake Now, there's sage advice if I ever heard it.,,,

        Any advice on how to avoid the subsequent memory blackout after which you often find you've scoffed the entire packet short of one (sometimes two)

        That'd at least be worthy of a Weight Watchers award...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

          As recently decreed by President Trump, it should now be called a Jerusalem Cake.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

          Any advice on how to avoid the subsequent memory blackout after which you often find you've scoffed the entire packet short of one (sometimes two)

          Teiwaz,

          There's an argument to say that this isn't a bug but a feature.

          But I suggest two solutions. Option 1 is to mark out cake number 6. That is the all important member of the packet. 12 is the perfect number, as if you eat 2 (minimum dose) you're fine. 3 is also neat, as there are three more lots of 3 to go - and eating 4 leave 2 more lots the same. All very neat. Once you eat cake number 7 though, all neatness is gone, and you're forced to finish the packet.

          Option 2: Go to Iceland (shop not country). Invest £4 - get big box of 100 Jaffa Cakes. Eat until gone.

          As for Weight Watchers, a friend of mine who successfully lost a lot with them told me that he moved from biscuits to Jaffa Cakes on their advice. The Jaffa Cake is quite low calorie, compared to other teat accompaniment snack options. Although I believe there recommendation was one or two.

          I didn't realise it was even possible to only eat one Jaffa Cake...

        3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

          Any advice on how to avoid the subsequent memory blackout after which you often find you've scoffed the entire packet short of one (sometimes two)

          Memory blackout? You have been seriously mislead by marketing when it comes to the number of said cakes stored within a Jaffa cake delivery tube. The unitiated out there believe that when the box reads 10, that this number is in decimal. The reality of this, and as should be appreciated by most El Reg readers, is that this number is actually binary and therefore rather than being ten, there are in fact only two cakes in each packet. These two cakes are cunningly, no, spitefully, located one at each end of the tube.

          This is why one only has the memory of taking the first and the last cake out of each packet because there are, in fact, no other cakes of deliciousness inbetween. Fact*.

          * any ill-perceived side effects such as a feeling of bloatedness, weight gain, spots, sugar rushes, etc, are all entirely coincidental and attributable to environmental or other similarly nefarious factors and definitely not the "missing" cakes.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

            Nick Ryan,

            Very good. But... I can't let you get away with that calumny upon the good name of McVities. Jaffa cakes come in 2 sizes of container, so far as I know. The boxed 12 pack (sometimes in multi-packs too) - or the platicised (Pringles type) tube with 15.

            Only Marks & Spencers are so evil as to only sell theirs in tens. Though they are incredibly nice, so I suppose I'll let them off. But only buy when they're 2 for the price of 1. The other supermarket ones I've tried also came in 12s.

            I have done extensive research into this vital topic...

            [I could use the pedant icon, but actually a Mr Greedy one would be more appropriate.]

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
              Go

              Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

              Unfortunately, and this is a national (bordering on international) tragedy, but, as of September 2017, Jaffa cakes come in packs of 10.

              Please see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41400677 for a report on this tragedy.

              Your research is out of date and needs to be refreshed. You know what to do...

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: Google Drive Help Forum "top contributor"

                Nick Ryan,

                Oh Noes!!!!! Disaster! I stand (well sit actually) corrected.

                I've obviously been saved by my love of special offers. Must have not had McVities since, apart from the tubes of 15, or the Christmas meter long boxes. Sainsbury's have had the 3 packs on special quite a bit, and the M&S near me often do deals on theirs too.

                Still, it disturbs me that I've clearly not been eating enough Jaffa Cakes. It might be my current thing for choccy covered gingers - or my Christmastime lebkuchen addiction.

  2. rmason Silver badge

    More importantly...

    Any good Films? What's the quality like?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: More importantly...

      @rmason

      Nicely done +1 would give more...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: More importantly...

        Quality is likely good enough for a medium sized 1080 TV or tablet, but it will won't show off your new 50" HDR set to its best. Still, some films demand the best quality you can get hold of - Lawrence of Arabia, say - whilst others lose nothing from having been filmed in black and white.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: More importantly...

          You can get 4k torrents now. A friend told me....

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: More importantly...

            I just figured that the films stashed on the G drives were of the streaming quality variety... according to a friend.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More importantly...

      Any good Films? What's the quality like?

      And how do I link my Google drive to it, again?

    3. 's water music Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: More importantly...

      I'm not the only one who quickly went to check their Drive account then? (no luck :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All it needs is for someone just to say they looked at one of the movies, and it contained child porn and the problem will be solved, the account will be deleted and the functionality to unsubscribe will suddenly become available within 30 minutes.

    You just need to know how to motivate cloud companies, and child porn seems to get the attention of all the right people very quickly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All it needs is for someone just to say they looked at one of the movies, and it contained child porn and the problem will be solved

      Or the missing Trump tax filings. The spam swamp would be drained PDQ...

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Or the missing Trump tax filings.

        I just laughed out loud to that, have an upvote.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          I'd prefer Mrs. Clinton's missing e-mails.

          1. Robert Moore
            Thumb Down

            I'd prefer Mrs. Clinton's missing e-mails.

            You are the only one Bob. She lost (Due to a technicality.) your idiot (Technically) won. Get over it!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Not a technicality - the US constitution has an electoral college for good reasons, including boosting the weighting of smaller states.

              1. The First Dave Silver badge

                "the US constitution has an electoral college for good reasons"

                Most of them to do with Money?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  "Most of them to do with Money?"

                  No - read a history book.

            2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Trollface

              > Due to a technicality.

              Everything is a technicality if you are member of Schoolmarm Party.

              Or it's Russia.

              One never really knows.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        So Trump's and Clinton's files.... "why can't we have both, Coleman?".

    2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      "All it needs is for someone just to say they looked at one of the movies, and it contained speeches by Milo Yianoppolos and Jordan Peterson and the problem will be solved"

      There: FTFY

  4. Solarflare

    "all I can advise from reading your reports is not to click on or open any files."

    Fabulous advice really. That collaboration and sharing thing that your company has paid for? Well, someone might be able to sneak nasty stuff in there, so you're best off just not clicking anything.

    1. hellwig Silver badge

      re: advice

      I think the real advice should be to use a company with a better reputation for quality of execution, support, etc...

      Google is an advertising company, everything else is just a hobby for them.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. I clicked on a file in our corporate file-sharing system and it turned out to be worse than any virus or dodginess - it turned out to be work. I won't be making THAT mistake again.

  5. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    There will be dancing in the cubicles at Dropbox tonight... (well and Redmond, maybe they'll get a fourth user for OneDrive now?)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "There will be dancing in the cubicles at Dropbox tonight... (well and Redmond, maybe they'll get a fourth user for OneDrive now?)"

      Dropbox, OneDrive?

      Still somone else's computer. Their rules are your rules, their problems are your problems.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        FAIL

        Still somone else's computer

        yes, "the cloud" _IS_ highly overrated!

        For businesses, I remember this really cool thing that came out back in the 90's - it was called "a web server". The best ones run Linux or BSD. It's a fair bet that setting up a file sharing system with one of THOSE, even one that involves user names and passwords, wouldn't be all THAT hard...

        /me wonders if excessive Win-10-nic use has dumbed down the users into believing that it MUST be "in the cloud" ???

        1. gerdesj

          Re: Still somone else's computer

          "It's a fair bet that setting up a file sharing system with one of THOSE, even one that involves user names and passwords, wouldn't be all THAT hard..."

          It's pretty easy - Nextcloud.

          I run four of them. One of which has about 800 users. My wife's phone would have exploded long ago if I wasn't shipping photos and vids off it via Foldersync to my home instance.

          1. AdamWill

            Re: Still somone else's computer

            Sure, it's easy. Just stand up your server and install nextcloud on it. Well, of course, then you should automate the deployment somehow just in case you need to do it again. Then you're gonna have to figure out how to scale it if you have a significant number of users, of course.

            Oh, well, and then set up some kinda access control system, of course. No problem, you can just maintain a list in the admin interface by hand. Now who was the person who looked after the list again? We need to add someone new. Why are they on vacation? Sigh. I guess we need some sort of maintenance rota for this thing. Oh, someone *did* remember to take that disgruntled guy we had to fire last month off of the list of folks approved for access? Right? right?

            What's that you say, the hard disk in the file sharing server died and now everyone's lost all their data? Well, crap. Now we're bankrupt. For my new company, I guess we'd better think about redundancy and backups for the shared file server...

            ...okay, now NewCorp has its file server complete with expensive enterprise-level redundant storage, regular scheduled and tested backups, a rock solid access control policy and a team of five to maintain it. Great. Problem solved. Oh crap, now we need to let remote folks access it. Better hire some network admins to figure out all the necessary networking policy. Make sure nothing is exposed to people who don't work for the company. Maybe put it behind a VPN? But then we have to maintain the VPN and everyone hates dealing with access to a VPN. Also, crap, we'd best make sure this server has a solid TLS configuration. And make sure its certificates are kept up to date. And make sure the software is kept secure. What's that you say, Nextcloud is written in PHP and has a record of security vulns as long as your arm just like everything else that's ever been written in PHP? Well, crap.

            tl;dr: running servers (file servers, mail servers, web servers, whatever servers) is superficially easy. Doing it in a safe, sustainable, secure way is absolutely not and it very often *is* the best idea to pay someone else who does it at scale to do it for you.

            1. Kernel Silver badge

              Re: Still somone else's computer

              "tl;dr: running servers (file servers, mail servers, web servers, whatever servers) is superficially easy. Doing it in a safe, sustainable, secure way is absolutely not and it very often *is* the best idea to pay someone else who does it at scale to do it for you."

              All very true - but you need to ensure the person you are paying to do it for you actually does a better job of it than you would as well.

              I don't see any point in paying someone to cockup a task on my behalf when I'm quite capable of doing so for myself at a fraction of the price.

              1. AdamWill

                Re: Still somone else's computer

                Oh, sure, I absolutely agree. The 'someone' you outsource it to should be someone vaguely fking competent. And you should certainly be paying them, and have a damn good service agreement.

            2. schmitzr2018

              Re: Still somone else's computer

              The above times 1000.

            3. Hans 1 Silver badge

              Re: Still somone else's computer

              @AdamWill

              I think what you are mumbling is you do not understand DevOps or the benefits of it ...

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                Coffee/keyboard

                Re: Still somone else's computer

                "I think what you are mumbling is you do not understand DevOps or the benefits of it ..."

                Bugger! That's the last time I read the comments sections while eating!

  6. Caff

    Copyright / Data protection

    Would this open any of the business to potential prosecution? If they are using a service that essentially seems to expose them to illegal data without any way to remove shouldn't they be able to break out of the contract with goggle or claim any fines they receive back from them? They wouldn't have done it intentionally but the inability of google to resolve the issue in a timely fashion shows a level of incompetence and that as a business product it is unfit for purpose.

    1. 's water music Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Copyright / Data protection

      Would this open any of the business to potential prosecution?

      So long as the directors declare themselves Freenmen on the land and Goog didn;t write the contract under Admiralty law they should be golden.

  7. teebie

    Is this Prenda Law's latest tactic?

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Is this Prenda Law's latest tactic?

      I was just thinking of them when I read this.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Magic Dirt!

    terabytes of copyright infringing material

    That material having no intentional stance and not being ready to infringe copyright in the past, present, near or far future, I wonder whether the correct term might not be:

    terabytes of copyright infraught material

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worth looking for the Bexit impact studies there ?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Bexit? I didn't know Belgium were leaving the EU...

      That'll really annoy the Commission...

      1. phuzz Silver badge
        Alien

        "I didn't know B****** were leaving the EU"

        Watch your language!

        Honestly, only these Earthlings would be so crass as to name a whole country after a swearword.

  10. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Pirate

    Cynic

    I suspect the obvious fix for them breaks things elsewhere, which is why they can't deploy it,

    It's google. the first fix is to work out why the ads aren't showing, and the second is probably to upload it all to youtube.

  11. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Surprised?

    I have a serious question : is there anything left at Google that actually works or hasn't been ruined or removed?

    Search seems worse every year.

    Gmail becomes less useful with every "upgrade."

    The whole of G Suite is a confusing mess.

    There's no support for anything.

    And Android.....

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Surprised?

      I have a serious question : is there anything left at Google that actually works or hasn't been ruined or removed?

      I think the answer to that is "No".

      I'm sure they already hate me on the Google "Support" forums (and I use the term "support" in a figurative sense only).

      1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

        Re: Surprised?

        OK, I'll give them spam filtering, although given that their business is delivering advertising I guess that's more about blocking the competition.

  12. OnTheSpecialBus

    Google, your cracks are showing

    This issue of unwanted content being joined onto a drive appears to be made worse by the business drive team and the team that herds the great unwashed being entirely separate entities.

    There is much passing between forum sections in that Google drive help forum.

    a Google team cannot work with another Google team to resolve an issue?

    Superb, the implosion of the GoogleBorg begins, this will need much popcorn.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Google, your cracks are showing

      "your cracks are showing"

      Good grief, is it that sort of pirated movie?

  13. bobbear

    They've developed this great new app to prevent you ever shutting down your computer, so there's no escape from the googleborg - resistance is futile, or fewtle as our colonial cousins say..

    (Google "googledrivesync.exe shutdown problem")

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. John Lilburne

    Hic shurely shum mishtake...

    ... Google and piracy on their property and not being able to do anything about it

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