My database has disappeared - how can this have happened?

Posted April 15, 2019 2.2k views

I run a web and mobile app database from Digital Ocean, and today some customers complained their mobile apps aren’t working. Checked it out and our database on Digital Ocean has just disappeared. We haven’t done anything to it - haven’t been in the account or anything - how could this have happened spontaneously? After investigating, our developer said the server reset the database software for some reason hence it’s back to stock databases. Any insight???

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  • Do you have any update on this? Happened something similar to us in our development server. Also there was a database created called PLEASEREADME… Did you have the same? Checked all logs, using ‘last’ I had an entry from an unknown ip, but then again, we only allow ssh login using ssh keys.. So don’t know how this could happen.

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Hey friend,

I’m very sorry to hear about the trouble this caused for you. A reversion to the software’s default database is a pretty specific scenario that can only have a limited number of causes. Off the top of my head, these are the things I would suspect, and in the order that I would suspect them (based purely on experience, having no direct knowledge of what occurred):

  1. The software auto-updates and the vendor pushed out an update that was either bad or functioned poorly when combined with customization made to the software.
  2. Faulty backup software triggering an old restore.
  3. Someone accessing your account with us and restoring an old snapshot of the droplet.
  4. Someone exploited a vulnerability in your application, dumped your database, and wiped it with a default install to help hide the evidence.

It could be none of the above, but if I was tasked with the job of troubleshooting this on an unspecified application, these are the thoughts that would be rolling around in my head first.