The Imminent Danger of using Cloud Based Storage Services
“How does cloud based storage work?”
With the rising need for data protection and storage online, many companies and their employees have been implementing cloud based technology as a solution for this necessity providing more convenience. You also have an increasing number of internet users by the millions, of whom are adopting cloud based technologies within their own households. One of the most widely known cloud based storage services, for example, is Google Drive. Google Drive is a free online service that allows anyone with a Gmail account to make use of for storing most if not all of their files from their hard drive on an online server that will serve as an additional data storage. As of right now, Google Drive grants all users with 15GB of free storage for completely free with no additional costs which is actually quite good in comparison to other cloud based storage services like Drop Box at a 2GB start and BOX at a start of 10GB. Now, although these options seem like very useful services, it may be a ploy to suck people into storing their personal files on the server, in which there is a price to pay undoubtedly. And an ever “bigger” price to pay so to speak, for the paid Cloud based storage services.
“What does Cloud Based mean?”
“Cloud based”, via the webopedia.com definition, is “a term that refers to applications, services or resources made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider’s servers. “ On of the main reasons why numerous companies worldwide have adopted this service is due to the convenience of being able to access a software platform or host anywhere in the world using an internet connection. I think the reason why this technology is so crucial, is because of the security that comes with cloud based services to help prevent any kind of malicious, hacking activities to protect their data.
The Argument FOR Cloud Based Storage Services:
In fact, one good argument for the use of cloud based services is the ever increasing reports of hacking through social engineering. In one of my earlier videos here on my channel titled, BLACKHAT HACKER SECRETS- THE DARK SIDE OF TECHNOLOGY (PART 1)
…I went in depth on how hackers have learned the ability to hack and breach data with relative ease using a form of “social engineering”. Meaning, trespassing top secret areas and gaining access to computers and devices within a company by ‘faking’ their identity and using the power of manipulation through their words. They have been able to do this without even needing to hack into the network using brute force attacks from a laptop, but simply, by walking into the premises to gain any information they seek. With that being said, these hackers could simply plug in a storage device from all forms of countless mediums such as the following:
-USB flash drives
-Internal/fixed hard drives
-External/portable hard drives
-Network attached storage
-Copy/fax machine memory
-Mobile devices (phones, tablets, audio players, video game systems)
-Cloud storage (via a direct installed, remote connection)
Any of these can be plugged into or attached to a computer or piece of office equipment to extract data in the flash of a second. Once achieved, the hacker calmly leaves the building as if nothing even happened. Unfortunately, even employees hired onto companies have done this. But going back to what I was saying earlier, if a company adopts the usage of cloud based storage services and stores all of their data on a cloud based network, it will make it 10x harder for the hacker to breach because instead of being able to access the data straight from the internal network, they would then need to bypass an EXTERNAL network, or SERIES of networks to then get into the cloud itself which would take a significant amount of time due to the extra layer of security, and especially if they’re already pressed for time to do their dirty work.
Another good argument for the use of Cloud Based services is the lack of longevity and the limited lifespan of physical storage devices like I had mentioned earlier. To put this into a better perspective, here’s a mind-blowing concept I wanted to mention to help make light of this:
Let’s say you have a small empty box, and you own a CD-ROM and a USB-Drive in which both have data already stored on them. Now, you take this same CD-ROM and USB-Drive and place them both inside of this box, and leave it sitting for 100 years from today’s date. What is the guarantee that anyone who finds this box and retrieves the CD-ROM and USB-Drive inside of it will have access to the data stored on them? I mean, of course, we still have access to the data stored on various physical devices from decades ago, but could we possibly conceive the rate at which technology will improve, so much so to the point where the technology we use 100+ years from now will not even be able to read such old and archaic devices that we have, TODAY? You could even make the argument that the CD-ROM and USB DRIVES may lose that data over time through increasing heat temperatures or humidity levels in the room or decreasing freezing low temperatures. In an article by clir.org, it states that,
“Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more.”
HOWEVER, it also goes on to say that,
“If left in a very humid environment, moisture—and oxygen—will eventually reach the aluminum, causing it to lose its data. reflectivity.” This is why cloud based services would be deemed a necessary solution to this problem due to the fact that the data is being stored in an online, digital format as opposed to a physical format that can defrag over time.”
The Argument AGAINST Cloud Based Services:
As we all know, everything in this world comes with a set of pros and cons. I’ve already made note of the strongest arguments FOR Cloud Based storage Services, now, what is it about Cloud Based sTORAGE Services that could be completely detrimental to us as a society? In the cyber world, it’s no secret that privacy is almost nonexistent. For example, If you were to go so far back as to when you first, first used the internet, whatever age you were, you would find out that the very first file you uploaded online is still somewhere deep in the online database. I don’t care what type of file it was, how big or how large, and if you so called “permanently” deleted that file off the net ages ago. Every single piece of information that is uploaded or stored online will exist indefinitely, forever. And there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Another great example of this is a website that I’m a big fan of called,”archieve.org” also known as “WayBack Machine” which advertises on its homepage, “Explore more than 299 billion web pages saved over time”. What this website is, is the biggest online database of websites that, after an embargo period, saves ALL web pages and all of its cache, data and archives and stores it so that any user can be able to visit those same websites and have access to its contents in whatever earlier date in time, even if the website was to no longer exist in today’s date for whatever reason. You can also enter the URL of a website to request a “snapshot” of that website for use at a later date in time in case it was to get taken down for any reason. For example, one could simply search up Youtube.com and go so far back to 2005 when Youtube first began. And can extract the cache data through an Alexa crawl from any given web page. Millions worldwide have also used this website to find any file they could ever possibly want. From any PDF to movies, music, top secret files, you name it. This website has even been proven to be more effective than any Torrent search if done correctly using proper search/filter techniques.
How does this affect our privacy rights as people?
If you REALLY want to know the purpose behind Cloud based storage services and how it can be a threat to our privacy, allow me to explain. The “Cloud” is simply a surveillance and intelligence gathering apparatus of the population. Users of the cloud are not very smart at all, as it can be an invasion and breach of privacy. Yes feel free to use the cloud, but just remember your service provider, whatever company that may be, is ultimately reading and permanently archiving said data. By using any Cloud Based services, you are voluntarily forfeiting your rights of said information. In addition, service providers can also sell your info for profits and legally, you can’t do a damn thing about it. So my advice is to not participate in any online storage services, or any (patent pending) intellectual property ideals on said systems. In actuality, this is called “data mining” and this is a big, black-market business. There’s a ton of money being made from it. If you were to store anything on the likes of “Google Drive” or “Dropbox” make sure it’s something of very little importance, like dog and cat photos. Now don’t get me wrong, there are already online services out there with pre-existing encryption-like “Spider-oak” for storing stuff of importance, but even then I personally wouldn’t trust that either. The way it works is before uploading it’s encrypted on your end and then moved up. Spider-oak also encrypts and they don’t have access to your key: “Zero Knowledge” and if they did, they would just see another blob of data. There also exist “Semaphor”, which is “ENCRYPTED GROUP CHAT & FILE SHARING FOR YOUR TEAM, FRIENDS, OR FAMILY.”
I’m just simply pointing these out as options in case you absolutely, positively still needed some form of cloud based service due to your personal circumstances.
Now, speaking of “Encrypted group chat and file sharing” don’t you find it interesting how after so long, mobile apps like “snap chat” and later “WhatsApp” made it to where messages and files being sent between two users are inevitably vanished after 60 seconds upon reading? Do you really believe that those files are truly “vanished” after the time limit? I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, once it’s uploaded on the net across any platform, it exists…FOREVER.
THE SECRET OF CLOUD BASED SERVICES EXPOSED (The Kicker):
SO in all HONESTLY, to close this off, if you TRULY believe any currently available online commercial encryption is immune from folks like the NSA you’re fooling yourself. Unless you have something like ‘three part’ encryption technologies like (rotating key [SecurID key fob for example], or biometric (fingerprint) scanner, and properly rotated, 25+ character secure passwords) anything they can touch they can crack. Use this as a guide to help protect the data and privacy for you and your loved ones. And spread the word…
Thank you for your time,
PeoplesBrain Blog 2017