Adobe pulls update that deletes files without warning

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Adobe has pulled an update for its Creative Cloud desktop application for Mac computers after users complained that it was deleting important files from their machines without reason or warning.

According to customer reports, after customers updated Creative Cloud, it accessed their hard drive and deleted the first folder that appeared in alphabetical order.

Many people in the creative industries have reacted angrily on social media.

Adobe said in a statement: “In a small number of cases, the updater may incorrectly remove some files from the system root directory with user writeable permissions.

“We have removed the update from distribution, and are in the process of deploying a new update which addresses the issue. When prompted for the update, Creative Cloud members should install it as normal.”

The issue was brought to light by users of backup software Backblaze. Part of the Backblaze backup system was stored within a folder on a Mac’s root directory named “.bzvol” and therefore was highly likely to be the first folder on the system which the Adobe update would delete.

Backblaze’s suggested solution was to create a folder called “.adobedontdeletemybzvol” on the user’s system that was higher in alphabetical order than the crucial .bzvol directory. The company later rolled out an update for its software that automatically created a dummy directory “.aBackblaze” for the Adobe updater to delete without issue.

Other users found the Adobe update would delete a folder required for the proper functioning of OS X’s autosave and versioning functions for documents, while any folder that started with a space on the root directory would likely fall victim to the update’s deletions.

Head of social for Backblaze Yev Pusin said: “It’s difficult to tell exactly which data may have been removed, but you can open the root directory on your Mac and try to look towards the top for any folders that are empty. This would have occurred to only one folder (that we know of) so the topmost hidden folder or the first folder with a space as the first character would have been affected.”

“As someone affected by this bug I am pretty annoyed. Materially it hasn’t (yet) cost me any work, but it’s a huge violation of trust,” said one user on Reddit.

In a statement, Adobe said: “On the 12 Feb we were notified that some customers had an issue with an update to the Creative Cloud Desktop application.

“We removed the update from distribution and deployed a new one which addresses the issue.”

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