Life in the Cloud: Is it the Digital Version of Heaven?
Posted by Pamela S. on Monday, August 13th, 2012
I am not really sure how cloud computing works, and maybe you don’t either. Pretty soon all of our digital lives will be connected in this way. Life in the cloud may be the way of the future, but it is also another path to hacker hell.
Mat Honan is a Senior Writer for Wired. He knows what’s what. That didn’t stop him from having his entire digital world turned upside down by hackers.
Because Mat’s accounts were all connected in some way, they fell like dominoes. His Google account was deleted, and his Twitter account was compromised, and racist and homophobic messages were posted. His AppleID account was hacked and his data erased on his iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.
This sounds like everyone’s worst information nightmare and it happened to someone as tech savvy as Mat. Read his article “Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking”.
CNN led me to the story on Mat and they have an excellent article on protecting yourself in the cloud. You should never assume that your information is protected. The number one rule is to back up everything. Sooner or later, you are going to get hacked, so be prepared.
Some people who posted intimate photos on their private Photobucket account know what it is like to have their account compromised.
A breach in the photo-sharing site Photobucket allowed hackers to gain access to some nude or explicit photos that users had posted for their private use, or to share with a partner. No judgement here, if you want to share a racy photo with your husband while he is away on a business trip, that is your business. You won’t be happy when your next door neighbor is looking at the same photo. Using a simple technique called “fusking”. Yes, that is “fusking”. I was very careful when I wrote this word. Plenty of voyeurs have now learned how to access these private photos thanks to online instructions.
There are fusker programs available for free online, and tutorials that show how to do this. Photobucket fell out of popularity some time ago, but people still have photos on the site. Photobucket users can password protect their files and indicate whether they are private or public, however, unencrypted photos can easily be accessed using these programs. Photobucket is aware of this breach and is reminding users to take advantage of the option to scramble URLs, which will prevent fusking.
We can remind people over and over again that there is no real privacy online, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. A Virginia sheriff’s deputy, Daniel Ray Carter Jr. found this out the hard way. Carter was fired for posting a Facebook “like” on the page of his boss’s political opponent.
Carter is fighting the firing in court on the basis that a “like” should be protected by his First Amendment right to free speech.
U. S. District Court Judge Raymond A. Jackson ruled that liking a Facebook page is not sufficient speech to warrant constitutional protection, because it is not an actual statement. Carter is appealing the ruling.
People who have posted negative comments about their employers on Facebook, and been caught, have found out that using that forum to bitch can only lead to trouble. Go home and complain to your wife, your friends, neighbors,or even your dog, but don’t post it on Facebook, Twitter or any other site, if you want to keep your job.
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