Perceptions and Realities of Cloud Security
A new survey suggests that access policies could use a little work.
When WikiLeaks released the latest bundle of classified U.S. government information, officials began calling for the website to be classified as a terrorist organization so that its assets could be frozen.
Then when Amazon Web Services stopped hosting the site and PayPal, Mastercard and Visa all removed payment provisions, supporters accused the U.S. government of intervening. However, the service providers denied government pressure was behind their decisions.
Now hackers have gone after Mastercard and Visa websites to show their support for WikiLeaks. In fact, ComputerActive's Dinah Greek says the fight has morphed into an all-out cyber war. She notes that WikiLeaks sympathisers were given links to distributed denial of service (DDoS) software to use against the companies.
Has WikiLeaks shown that cloud computing will eventually rain on any sufficiently authority-challenging parade? The reality is that anyone who manages to get under the skin of governments as effectively as Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks team have done will test the limits of government, and hence commercial tolerance... It doesn't mean that cloud computing is a bust.... But it does mean that it has not broken free of politics; and possibly the net never will.
At the same time, though, security experts have likened WikiLeaks to a hydra, indicating it is "nearly immune to takedown." (In Greek mythology, the hydra was a nine-headed sea monster. Each time one of the heads was removed, two more would grow in its place. Killing the beast was the second labor of Hercules.)
Similarly, Renesys CTO James Cowie said, "the harder you hit [WikiLeaks] the bigger [it gets]." The site's U.S.-based domain name service provider was among those that terminated services earlier this month. But now, according to eWEEK:
... the site currently has 14 name servers from 11 different providers in eight different countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Canada and Malaysia, listed in its WHOIS information.
Cowie noted the site now has "no center of gravity" for the opposition to target.