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June 10, 2009

This is why cloud security matters

I have heard many people who say that this whole cloud security thing is much ado about nothing. Besides getting Hoff’s blood pressure going, most people just shrug.  Yesterday’s article in the Register detailing the erasure of perhaps 100,000 web sites from a UK based web host is a poster child of the stakes in play with cloud security.

The web host evidently used virtualization software from a  company based in Banglore called LxLabs. Today comes word that the CEO of the company was found dead by hanging in an apparent suicide (what is it with people hanging themselves lately, will we hear rumors of sexual asphyxiation next?) Anyway, the software in question had either a zero day vulnerability or one that was a few weeks or months old (It all depends on who you believe on that one). In any event, the vulnerability gave the intruders root access to the machines in question.  The kind folks who perpetrated this crime then proceeded to wipe out the files of all of these web sites.  Perhaps half of these sites did not pay for any back up service, so their data and files may in fact be lost for good. That is just crazy!

So here are the stakes for the cloud. If something goes wrong and there is an incident, that incident can effect 10s or 100s of thousands of people and organizations.  With that much @stake (no pun intended), we cannot afford to be very serious about securing our cloud based environments!

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