Quickbooks cloud services were hit with a ransom attack. As a result probably hundreds of thousands of businesses are without access to invoicing, inventory management etc for the past three days. It raises questions in one’s mind about the quality of their backup systems. Admittedly it is a nightmare problem with thousands of new transactions hitting the system every minute, followed by a random attack, and the need to decide on where to draw the line in terms of ‘clean’ backups and rolling back to a known good point in the storage. And communicating that to a large volume of clients who think they are paying for a resilient system.
The company’s response seems to have been simply to cut prices for new subscribers – eg from USD 29 per month to USD 8.70. Which is little consolation to clients whose businesses have become reliant on this ‘service’.
Software companies are forcing clients to move to the cloud, with monthly or annual payments – instead of selling a software package which can be installed and expected to remain static and reliable – aside from the odd patch for security etc.
Quickbooks is not alone. Office 365 has been forced on users who previously licensed office as a software application and ran it on their own systems. The cloud based interface changes incrementally every few weeks and there are periods of downtime. As I write this, Office 365 seems to be experiencing a lot of trouble reports in the US:
The user has lost control over updates and when they should take place, in many environments.
It is high time that software / system providers had the same legal responsibilities as the sellers of tangible assets. With no option to contract out of these liabilities.