Tag Archives: computing

Cloud Computing: Easy Target for Cyber Criminals?

Guest writer Paul E. Lubic, Jr., has some definite ideas on the US government’s decision to employ Google’s cloud based computing model. Paul explains why, in his view, this risky venture will play into the hands of cyber criminals.

Here’s Paul’s report:

clip_image002The use of cloud computing by organizations to rent office productivity applications such as word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and presentations is less expensive than the current method of purchasing application packages/licenses.

However, any money saved by renting cloud-based applications rather than purchasing applications for use on local servers will, in my opinion, be lost and more, because of a much higher probability of having the data stored in the cloud hacked and stolen.

This opinion is based on the fact that the documents stored in the cloud are, for all intents and purposes, stored in one virtual location that is a big fat target for cyber criminals.

Consider that with the current method of using office productivity tools to create and store an organization’s documents, they’re stored on various servers owned by the organization.

Depending on the size of the organization, these documents will be spread across many different servers and storage devices, possibly on a common network. The advantage in protecting the data is that a cyber criminal will have a more difficult time gaining access to the many locations than if there were only one location to attack.

Here’s the really scary part. The US Government has recently awarded Google a security clearance for their cloud computing applications; indicating that they are clearing the way to begin using cloud computing, states a recent Los Angeles Times article: Google, Good enough for government work.

This is the same government that this past year was the victim of advanced persistent threat attacks that resulted in the loss of extremely sensitive national security-related data across numerous agencies.

Since cloud computing-based applications are also vulnerable to advanced persistent threat attacks…it seems to me we’ve just made the cyber criminals’ job a lot easier because once the crooks have gained access to one agency’s cloud-based applications, a huge advantage in itself, they’re smart enough to be able to access those of other agencies as well. Yep, one big fat target; the bad guys are salivating on their tee shirts as we speak.

Advanced Persistent Threat: Targeting an organization’s specific individuals who have elevated access in order to gain long-term, clandestine entry to applications and data.

If you’re wondering why the US Government would allow this to happen in the first place…I can hear the bureaucrats [defined: an official who works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment] saying “We changed to cloud computing because it saved us lots of money. We didn’t know it was unsafe.” ‘Nuff said…they’re gonna to do it.

Let Paul know your opinion on this issue by commenting on this article; we all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.

Guest writer Paul E. Lubic, Jr. is a long time IT professional who has held the positions of programmer, IT Security Manager and Chief Information Officer.  His interests lie in the IT security area, but he writes on all categories of technology.

Paul is a mature and seasoned writer, with a rare ability to break down complex issues into an easy to understand format. Check him out at his Blog – Paul’s Home Computing.

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Filed under Cloud Computing Applications, cybercrime, Google, Guest Writers

Web Freedom with icloud – Free Secure and Private File Sharing Network

Courtesy of icloud.

The icloud file sharing idea is easy: people and groups need private and secure sharing, storage and backup of files. With icloud you upload, access and share your music, videos and photos with people you trust.

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Whether you are at the office, home, or at your friend’s, all your files and folders are accessible and shareable at your fingertips. Mount your icloud Cloud Drive as a local hard drive, and drag and drop files or folders directly to the cloud; they are then ready to be shared and used.

With icloud, your computer is always ON, available in the cloud to serve you, your friends, and your family. Applications on icloud include office productivity, development tools, media and widgets. Its easy cloud computing for the masses.

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icloud is available in 21 languages; Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

Fast facts:

3 GB free storage space to safely store and backup documents, photos and music online

50 free applications and widgets including Office, Mail, Music, Video, Instant Messaging, Games, Collaboration and Development tools.

Public profile

Free email

File sharing and WebDAV support, mount as a network drive (Get Installer)

Zero installation, icloud runs in Internet Explorer or Firefox browser

icloud is available for free, and open for sign-ups. To learn more about icloud, visit the site.

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Filed under Cloud Computing Applications, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Networking, Online Photo Storage, Productivity Software, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free MojoPac Freedom – Portable Computing on a USB Device

MojoPac Freedom is a free software virtualization product from RingCube Technologies which turns any USB2 storage device, such as iPods, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, USB-enabled cell phones, and USB-enabled digital cameras, into a portable computing environment.

The software allows you to carry applications and files from your office to your home or to a tradeshow in Paris for example, on a device that can fit in your pocket. You can then access your usual software applications by plugging in your iPod or USB drive to any PC anywhere in the world. Your language settings are stored on your MojoPac – which means you can connect to a PC in France and still have your environment and applications in English!

To setup the MojoPac device, just run the installer and select a USB device attached to the system. Once MojoPac is installed, it creates an executable in the root of that device, along with an auto run file that gives you the option of starting the MojoPac environment automatically when the device is plugged in.

Once the application is started, a new Windows Desktop (with its own wallpaper, icons, shell, etc.) is started in the virtualized MojoPac environment. Any application that runs inside this environment runs off the USB device without affecting the file system of the host.

You can install most applications (including applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and Firefox) on the portable storage device by simply running that applications installer inside the MojoPac environment.

You can switch between the host environment and the MojoPac environment at any time by using the MojoBar at the top of the screen. Once you’ve finished with the applications, just exit out of MojoPac and eject the USB device. When the portable storage device is disconnected from the host, there are no traces left behind on the host computer.

To run your applications on a different computer, you don’t need to reinstall the application. Simply plug the portable storage device into any Windows XP/Vista computer. All of your settings, applications, and documents function the same way irrespective of which computer the portable storage device is connected to.

Take your work with you:

You never have to load work applications on your home system again, or worry about data synchronization. MojoPac can keep all your work applications and data completely separated from your home PC’s disk drive. And once you remove the MojoPac-enabled device, your home PC will not retain a trace of your work information.

Take your home with you:

You can use MojoPac to take your personal applications (for example, multimedia, finance, games, instant message clients, and personal browser) to work with you; connect to your work PC to run all these apps in the privacy of your MojoPac device, without leaving any trace on your work PC. Nothing will be installed or stored on your work PC, in compliance with your IT policies.

Features:

· Supports the majority of popular applications and games

· Works on any USB2 storage device including flash drives, external hard drives, and iPods

Note: The EULA for this application states that MojoPac will collect user information on an aggregate basis that may be used to target promotions.

Requirements: Windows XP (32-bit version)

Download at: PCWorld

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Filed under Freeware, iPod Tips, Mobile Applications, Portable Applications, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools