The Cloud Needs Airbags

You think your photos, emails, documents, and videos are stored safely in the cloud. They aren't.

Mat Honan's digital life was destroyed in a matter of hours. On June 17th, an extortionist destroyed an entire company.

Your car has an airbag to protect you from crashes. Your computer has a trash can so you can undo mistakes. When disaster strikes, cloud services need better safeguards to protect your data.

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The Problem

On June 17th, 2014, Code Spaces was completely destroyed by an extortionist.

“Code Spaces will not be able to operate beyond this point, the cost of resolving this issue to date and the expected cost of refunding customers who have been left without the service they paid for will put Code Spaces in a irreversible position both financially and in terms of on going credibility.”

Code Spaces had time to stop the attack. Without the right tools, they were helpless.

“We took action to take control back of our panel by changing passwords, however the intruder had prepared for this and had already created a number of backup logins to the panel and upon seeing us make the attempted recovery of the account he proceeded to randomly delete artifacts from the panel.”

The Solution

We need the equivalent of airbags to prevent virtually assured destruction by criminals, terrorists, and ordinary mistakes in the cloud.

VSCRAM
Nuclear reactors have a SCRAM system, which forces a large insertion of negative reactivity. Clients should have the ability to call in or text a VSCRAM code to a cloud service provider to force an immediate shutdown and freeze all of the client’s servers and assets. You can turn your computer and car off when problems happen. The cloud needs a power-off button, too.
VLockdown
If Code Spaces could have locked down administrative access, the attack would have been stopped without disrupting normal operations. Clients should have a VLockdown code to freeze all adminstrative access and destructive operations.
VDelete
Like the Trash can on your desktop, deleted cloud assets should not be destroyed immediately. Even a few hours delay before “emptying the trash” would have helped Code Spaces save their business.

Help Us

Please join our group on LinkedIn to help us encourage cloud service providers to have sensible cyber safeguards to help prevent virtual destruction of your business.

Let your cloud providers and businesses know about NoVAD. Please ask them to join NoVAD. Tell your friends to join. The lack of safeguards affects all of us.

We need better content for this site. Ask on LinkedIn how you can contribute. For the technically inclined, the source for this website is available on GitHub so fork, fix, and send a pull request.

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