Are your nude pictures save in the cloud?
How safe are the files you keep in your cloud? We live in a world where more and more things are being saved at distance servers, and we can access them only thru an internet access. How can we be sure that people are not looking at the files, stored in the cloud? As it turns out, not a lot of people are aware what the cloud is.
Last week, a hacker placed some nude pictures of American celebrities on the anonymous blog/forum 4chan.com. He/she would give more nudes of the celebrities to a person in exchange for an amount of bitcoins. The hacker said he/she hacked into the iCloud of these celebrities and downloaded the nude-pictures of them. Although the celebrities didn’t put those pictures in the cloud, it was the backup-service of Apple that places those pictures there. After the news was out that those pictures where hacked, a lot of news sites wrote about the dangers of the cloud. Interestingly enough Apple came with a statement that the hacker broke in the cloud using the correct password, meaning that it was the fault of the celebrities not using a strong password.
In order to answer the question, we must know what the cloud is. As the video explains the cloud is a place where you can store files which you can access thru an internet connection. Not only the ICloud or Google Drive are programs to access your cloud, also sites like Flickr or Facebook work with a cloud. The information you upload onto those sites are downloaded to a server. That way you can access your information anywhere you want.
Ok, so now you kind of know what the cloud is. We will examine briefly the advantages of working with a cloud. For one, you don’t need a hard drive anymore to store the files you need. You can now directly save it in the cloud, which can be accessed by you or by the people you can give access to. This is also the second advantage of working with the cloud, you can easily share your files with other people. A third advantage is that there is in most cases a backup files, in case you need it.
Let us now see at the disadvantages. Perhaps the big disadvantage of the cloud is that you need an internet connection to get to your files. Not only the internet connection is important but also the speed of internet can be very helpful, because de lack at download- or upload-speed means precious time wasted on waiting downloading the files. What also could be a disadvantage is that you don’t really know who is watching the cloud. With the latest NSA scandals, and all of your files that are available on the internet, you are not sure that the content remains private.
With the statement of Apple, that the passwords were cracked, means perhaps that the ICloud could be as safe as the user protecting it. That means that perhaps the big question is not how safe the cloud is, but how strong can you protect your cloud.
In an article written by Grossman (2009, 26) he names security as a thing that could be a big challenge for a cloud. He says that some cloud applications don’t really have a user-level of authentication. As it turns out, Apple does not have the same double authentication as for example Google has. That means that protecting the cloud doesn’t only rely on the user but also on the company.
So we can conclude that putting your nude pictures or movies in the cloud is as safe as you protecting it with a good password. If you don’t have the creativity to create a good password, you can take a look here, or don’t upload them on a cloud. In my opinion the need for creating a good password will become a very important thing in the near future. Not only are the hacking of the passwords a good example of that, also the announcement of Google with a password creating service show the need of a good password. Another example is the cooperation of many big companies like Intel that launched a campaign for creating a good password. They even have a website called passwordday.org.
Hijink, Mark. “Naaktfoto’s beroemdheden gelekt. Hoe veilig is Apples iCloud?” NRCQ.nl. 2014. 07 september 2014. <http://www.nrcq.nl/2014/09/02/apple-wil-gebruiksvriendelijk-zijn-en-levert-daarom-in-op-veiligheid>.
Grossman, Robert L. “The case for cloud computing.” IT professional 11.2 (2009): 23-27.
Rosenblatt, Seth. “Google tests password generator in Chrome browser.” 2014. 07 september 2014. <http://www.cnet.com/news/google-tests-password-generator-in-chrome-browser/>.