Gmail Backup Temporarily Disabled

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Unfortunately, we are having a problem with Gmail that has required us to disable Gmail backup for a few days.  We have signed up so many users in the past 24 hours, and are suddenly pulling all the mail from so many Gmail accounts, that Gmail’s algorithms tell users their accounts many have been compromised.

If you get an email saying your account has been compromised, it hasn’t been.   It’s just that Backupify is suddenly pulling all the mail for several thousand new users, and Gmail is concerned.  This isn’t a problem for Google Docs backup because Google Docs uses Google authentication.  Gmail uses IMAP, which is more generic and gives Google less control over verification.

So what we have to do to fix this is not to pull all your mail as part of an initial backup.  We need to modify the code to backup your Gmail over a week or so, instead of all at once.  That should fix the problem.

In the meantime, we have searched all over Google’s websites for a phone number or contact email for someone who can help by whitelisting our service.  If you know someone, please send them our way.

UPDATE:  Google has been in touch, and we are working with them to resolve the issue.  Since it’s almost Christmas, please don’t expect a solution tomorrow, but trust that we will get this resolved soon after the holiday.

UPDATE 2:  Let me just say that I see why Google is successful.  They are a company that gets things done.  We were put in touch with a contact, whitelisted, existing flagged accounts were cleared, and Google indicated some of the changes that are coming to their intrusion detection algorithms.  I’m very impressed.  We will test on some of our internal accounts to see if there are any more problems, and then open up Gmail backup again in the next few days.

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  • Gary

    you might want suggest this “feature” to gmail here:
    http://mail.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=suggestions.cs

    fill up the text box at bottom of the page under the head I have a idea . but don’t expect a quick response:P

    to draw more attention,you might want to ask here:
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail?hl=en
    as many of staff members, do browse these forums sometimes

    But I don’t think they would allow such services, as it will increase bandwidth costs for them without gaining any benefit.

  • Mario

    Thank You!

  • Marc K.

    Is there any way to get both google docs from an “@gmail.com” and a Google Web Apps act? Also, when Gmail comes back up, is it going to be just for “@gmail.com” or both @gmail and Google Web Apps Email???

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  • Dan

    That’s a bummer, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that appreciates the thoughtful and informative explanation. It shows a respect for your users’ intelligence that not many companies have.
    Thanks!

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  • Corinne

    I figured that’s why they asked me to change my password, but I did it anyway because I’ve had the same gmail password for years (since I signed up in like 2005 or something). I was due for a change.

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  • Traci

    Marc K.: I didn’t have any problem signing up for a regular Docs account and an Apps account, just add them both.

  • Pam

    I agree with Dan, THANK YOU for putting this explanation on your website. Now I don’t have to run around worrying that my account is being attacked. I really do appreciate it. I’ve got better things to worry about the week of Christmas. ;)

  • Felipe

    The best you can do is to post the issue on the Help forum:

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail?hl=en

    Then one the Top Contributors there will take it to the attention of an employee.

    Thanks,

  • Joel P.

    Google’s Data Liberation Front is the group you need to talk to. They should love what you’re doing.

  • Julien

    Thank you for the information.

  • Simon

    Dammit. Google is now forcing me to change my Gmail password.

  • Brian Watson

    Just like Dan and Pam, a big Thank You for an open and honest explanation of the situation. People are more apt to be both forgiving and understanding. It’s a refreshing approach that I hope continues.

  • Tim

    I’d just like to note that, yes, Gmail may make you change your password, but they also don’t prevent you from changing it back if you’re so inclined.

  • Torben Gundtofte-Bruun

    +1 for open communication, and a big thank you for a good service – what a great idea you brought into life! Kudos also to Google and their very very professional people.

  • Heiko

    “If you get an email saying your account has been compromised, it hasn’t been.”

    Sorry, but you shold not tell the people that their account is not compromised, because perhaps it is at the same time. You want to say, it must not be compromised!

    So changing your password is a must, because you can’t seperate if it is compromised or not!

    By the way, I like your service and it is cool that you fix the problem for us (mostly free users) … and please excuse if my englisch is not perfect, I am not native ;)

  • http://ndrw.me AndrewNoNumbers

    Good job to both Backupify and the Gmail team!

  • Ray

    Thanks for the updates! =)

    Have a merry Christmas!

  • akshay kankanmeli

    thank you…
    i really love the concept of backupify.com

  • Jim Kimmons

    I guess this was the reason Gmail made me change my password. Unfortunately, it seems you’ve temporarily disabled the “Manage” ability for it here, so I can’t change it for when you start back up. Can you please email us when we can manage the account backup again, or will I need to keep checking back?

  • http://www.daniel-light.com Daniel Light

    Just FYI, gmail is (as of 12/26/2009) still indicating that my account might have been compromised and has, for the 2nd time in three days, forced me to change my password. No big deal, as I assume it will get fixed before too long.

  • Ido

    I’ll quote again what Dan said as I agree 100% and couldn’t have said it better myself:

    “That’s a bummer, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that appreciates the thoughtful and informative explanation. It shows a respect for your users’ intelligence that not many companies have.
    Thanks!”

    And also thanks so much for the updates!

  • Ram

    It is refreshing to see your candid updates. Keep it up! (Such kinks are expected….especially in the beginning)

  • Ram

    BTW, pls. check the spelling for “intrustion” in one of your updates. Yeah, nitpicking…but I thought that since you;re doing so well, might as well take the weeds out along the way… You may delete this comment or not publish it…

  • HIcycles

    Thanks for the update. I ended up changing my googleaccounts info anyways.

  • dan

    I’m another Dan who echos the praise of Dan above. Your e-mail with a pointer to this blog was customer service done right.

    “Dan 12.23.09 at 12:40 pm
    ..I’m not the only one that appreciates the thoughtful and informative explanation. It shows a respect for your users’ intelligence that not many companies have.
    Thanks!”

  • http://birbilis.spaces.live.com George Birbilis

    You should definitely checkout these from Google:
    http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/meaning-of-open.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/sep/09/google-data-liberation-export

    http://www.dataliberation.org/ (from Google, read article above – see the APIs etc. mentioned there for moving data in/out of Google services, might be useful for Backupify)

    btw, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/making-ads-more-interesting.html is also interesting if one wants to manage which ads they see at Google (think a Google account is needed)

  • J.F.

    Got the message from Gmail that I should change my password – and changed it.
    Then got the message from Backify that backup was successful, and the account was not compromised, and that backup would be back in a few days.
    Just to make sure: Can I keep my new password, and can you resume the backup without knowing the new password – or do we have to change back to the old password?
    Thanks for the service.

  • S.R.Shankar

    Hi,
    What a superb service.
    I will expect to see u soon on mobile backup if possible.
    I thank u for starting a smart service like this.

  • Paulistain

    FYI, I just got a message to change my password from google. I checked the backup history and you have started backing up my account. Probably google hasn’t put you in the correct white list :-P
    Thanks,

  • prowse

    Ya, I would try through Leo Laporte to introduce you to Jeff Jarvis – Mr. Jarvis MAY know of a way for your information to reach the smart ones at Google. Jeff Jarvis, as you may already know, appears regulary with Gina Trapani (aka from TWiT Network’s NSFW show’s Robert J. Young’s feminine side, but with a full-on beard) on Leo’s TWiT Netcasting network called “This Week in Google”.

  • Ed Durrant

    Is Google Mail backup still disabled? From the status reports it sounds like you have the issue fixed but I can’t add google to my services to be backed up (new user).

    Thanks for an update

    Ed.

  • Lupatrian

    I can’t even add a gmail account to be backed up; it keeps bringing me back to the Add Acct screen with my info still all filled in; no error messages, no account added to be backed up. ?? (Ubunbu)

    Thanks for Backupify; a great service. ~:)

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  • Lupatrian

    Update: I finally noticed a small message advising me to enable Gmail IMAP (duh!). :D

  • http://twitter.com/jmoo2 James Moore

    Same problem here; can't backup gMail account. Won't let me select anything other my Inbox; doesn't hae my password. No error message or anything :(

  • Sumit Nathany

    Same problem here. I also can't add Gmail backup to my services. There is no error message. I am a new user.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GeoMeek Geo Meek

    This is a great idea looking forward to it working.

  • Dean

    Can only backup my INBOX… that’s useless :(

  • Backupify Ben

    Gmail backup has been re-enabled and it is now possible to backup the AllMail folder, and all other email.

  • http://www.mbargo.be/ Bart Goossens (@mbargo)

    Is it possible to backup google apps mailaccounts? I can't enter my credentials, so it seems.

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  • http://www.theuniuni.com/ Payton_vege

    Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

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