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Cloud Hacking

By Steve Jones,

Not everyone is down on the cloud. Apparently someone found a great use for pay-as-you-go computing in the cloud by using it to hack wireless networks. What's next, someone using Amazon's Mechanical Turk to find security holes in police patrols of local businesses? It constantly amazes me just how someone will take a technology that is very handy and turn it into a tool used for criminal purposes. I suppose we just have to live with this use of technology and learn to protect ourselves as much as possible.

I think that security will be one of the bigger impediments to cloud adoption than anything else. Sure there's the cost factor of data transfers, and trying to determine how to manage the costs of large bursts. There's the need to integrate local and cloud development codebases, and potential patching/version issues. However those are not large issues when compared with the potential security issues that come with cloud computing.

Even as we move to private cloud structures, we may have security issues with more resources being grouped under one large services umbrella and the difficulties of managing security for large numbers of users. We want to use groups to make management easier, but the more people you manage and the more groups that become involved, the more likely it is that you will have some security hole in your system.

I think we'll start to find more hackers that will discover, and take advantage of, hole in cloud security that we haven't thought of. As they do, we'll see more resistance from companies in migrating their infrastructures. At least until it becomes more cost effective to do so. Then we'll discover that many of those security issues don't seem to matter quite as much.

Steve Jones


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