In my last post, I wrote about the difficulties I had to get the SpiderOak One client software to synchronize files from my Mac to my Windows machine (the other way round worked). After some back and forth with their support (they really tried to help), I finally could identify where the problem was.
The culprit was Bitdefender Antivirus – like many other anti-virus solutions, Bitdefender prevents unauthorized applications from modifying files stored in protected directories. By default, Bitdefender protects directories such as Pictures, Documents, etc. – in short the usual library directories. It does so on both platforms, Windows and Mac.
But why did that lead to a problem with Spideroak only on Windows, and not on the Mac? Well, for this the Spideroak software may claim credit: The Hive folder (the one being synced between devices) on Mac computers sits directly under the user’s home directory. On Windows computers however, the Hive folder is for some unknown reason a subdirectory of the
Documents directory, which again is protected by Bitdefender.
So the combination of Spideroak and Bitdefender doesn’t work too well together on Windows – but of course there’s an easy solution to this: simply list the Spideroak client as trusted application with authority to modify contents of the protected directories. From a security point of view this is a rather dirty solution – although I (currently) trust Spideroak and their application, it opens up a future entry vector for intruders, if they ever find a way to manipulate the Spideroak client software or their software distribution channel.