The Problems with Cloud Computing?
Lately, there has been a large amount in the news relating to the latest craze in computing: cloud computing. Considering the very recent release of Apple’s iCloud, I thought I’d delve into the problems and alternate uses with cloud computing. New information suggests that not only is cloud computing used to send spam, it’s also cleverly manipulated to organize and commit attacks such as DDoS attacks (e.g. speculations that the recent Sony attacks were from Amazon’s cloud service) or send a boat load of spam.
The really surprising thing is how easy it sounds. Kassidy Clark of Delft University and his colleagues recently performed a series of cloud/virtual computer based tests to experiment with these problems that are coming to light. The team quickly hired 20 virtual machines and after sending out DDoS attacks to their own server, the server was down within 10 seconds. What’s more is that with enough of these virtual machines, it’s very difficult to spot when they are not real, for example in pay-per-click advertising schemes.
Of course, in reality attacks like these via cloud based services aren’t happening too frequently (fortunately) but all I can ask is this: what are these companies (Amazon, Apple, Google…) doing about these clear and evident security loop holes in their systems? If it is so easy to do these things in practice – then more needs to be done to prevent it.