Cloud Could Be Attacked from the Side

Kara Reeder

Researchers at the University of California-San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are warning about the possibility of side channel attacks in cloud computing environments. According to Computerworld,

A side-channel attacker looks at indirect information related to the computer -- the electromagnetic emanations from screens or keyboards, for example -- to determine what is going on in the machine.

The researchers specifically focused on Amazon's EC2. They were able to locate the physical server used in the EC2 cloud. They then pulled out small amounts of data by placing their own software there and launching a side-channel attack.


Security experts say the attacks used by the researchers present a minor threat. However, they do acknowledge that side-channel techniques could lead to more serious problems for cloud computing.

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