Cloudy Weather

The Cloud. These days it seems all-encompassing and unescapable. Perhaps we should have called it 'fog computing' as it seems to have the ability to bamboozle and confuse non-techie types with promises of milk and honey for little or no effort. While it certainly has it's merits, a lack of true definition and standards show it's immaturity at present.

But even in world of magical clouds there's a darkside, for with a greater availability in cheap computing power comes the opportunity for shady-types or in this case, researchers, to use the 'power of the cloud' to crack WPA encryption. WPACracker allows you to run a 285 million word dictionary-based attack to crack WPA-PSK and ZIP file encryption. Purely for research purposes of course!

Using Clouds or 'cloud-like' constructs for crime is nothing new, shown by the prevelance of botnets such as the massive Conficker botnet (estimated at 10-15 million hosts) or the spam spewing Cutwail botnet that could blast out 74,000,000,000 spam messages a day (that's 51,000,000 a minute!).

While I'm on Cloud matters, I spotted a recent interesting little tidbit about personal cloud storage provider Evernote. It seems for their customers, security is an add-on extra that is only available to premium subscribers....

Apparently 'excellent security' means encrypting authentication information only with the remainder sent in the clear. Are we past the age of better security being basically a good idea or advertised as a lure for customers and it turning into a premium extra charge? I hope not.

(thanks for some of the info in the post above to a Circus contributor who must remain anonymous - you know who you are!)

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