Archive for Hacking

How Safe Will ‘The Cloud’ Be?

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Hacker, Hackers, Modern World, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 09/06/2011 by floroy1942

It seems nothing can stop the march of technology, with Steve Jobs of Apple this week proclaiming the PC is on the way out because ‘the cloud’ is coming. Personally, I have my doubts!

Soon To Be A Relic Of The Past?

The advent of smart phones and tablets have no doubt changed computing from what we are all used to, now we can do it all on the move. No need to sit behind a desk and punch the keyboard, just flick your fingertips over the screen and its ‘job done’. A nice innovation, and no doubt a boon to busy business people who find it hard to sit still for more than a few minutes. As for the rest of us, I don’t see it having a major impact for some time to come, although it will eventually.

What is more worrying to me as a normal user, is the arrival of ‘the cloud’ and all it promises, and doesn’t promise.

Everythings In The Cloud

It does promise the possibility to transfer data, music or what have you from one piece of equipment to another without having to connect them together with a USB cable. This is because all information will be stored on ‘the cloud’ instead of your Pc’s hard-drive, i.e. there will one huge ‘hard-drive’ in the sky as it were, and everyone will store their data there. You will be able to connect to it with your Ipod, tablet or phone any time you want, providing you have an internet connection that is, and download or upload data as you choose.

Cloud Computing Explained:

What is doesn’t promise you in my mind, is total security of your information should you wish to use ‘the cloud’. Recent events, such as the hacking of Sony and many governments, have left me extremely wary of placing all my data, not to mention private stuff like bank details etc, on some ‘cloud’ over which I have no control whatsoever.

What If He Gets In The Cloud?

To me it seems like a hackers paradise, and you can bet your life that right now some foul despicable low-life is trying to get into the cloud to steal personal data. With the introduction of massive hard-drives in cyberspace, accessible to anyone, hackers must think they have died and gone to heaven.

Past experience has shown quite clearly that no matter how sophisticated the security on a computer system is, it can, and will be hacked. You can hardly imagine a system more secure than the U.S. Defence Department, but its been hacked on more than one occasion.

Everyone’s There

I know that I will not be storing all my data on one of these clouds once they are up and running, but part of the problem is, some of my data is in the hands of, for example,  companies I have dealt with in the past, my bank, government departments and the like. It has already been stated that many companies and institutions are intending to use ‘the cloud’ for their data storage, and coincidentally, along with it my information.

‘Cloud’ Providers:

The sad thing is, I have no control over this, in fact, I will not even know it is being done.

There is little doubt that unless a catastrophe occurs, like the whole cloud suddenly blowing away and everyone’s data being lost, we will not have much choice in the matter. Such an event would no doubt put the brakes on the whole thing, and possibly cause a rethink.

Future Winners In The Cloud Market?

There are new ‘clouds’ coming on line every day as people like Google and Microsoft etc get in on the act, and for sure there will be a ‘battle of the clouds’ in the future as each one tries to get your business. Naturally enough, (you knew there would be a downside) it will cost you. No-one is going to give you your own little ‘hard-drive on the net’ without you having to pay for it. What its going to cost I have no idea, but there will be a subscription fee, probably determined by how much you use the facility. Ouch!

Internet Speed Comparison – You Will No Doubt Notice That Spain Is Not Even Listed!

The one thing that will be essential, not only for businesses but also the private user, is fast, dependable internet. While many countries like Britain are moving to get fast internet connections to every household, Spain where I live, is still in the middle ages. The best speeds in my area are a lowly 3mb and with my current provider I am getting only 0.8mb. Not only that, but the internet went down five times in the last week. Truely laughable when you consider what other countries are getting. When cloud computing takes off people are going to be demanding a much better internet service from their provider, and that is going to be a major problem.

New Mac Tablet PC?

But time waits for no man as the saying goes, and you can bet your last dollar that in a few years PC’s with a hard-drive will be a relic. As progress marches on, we, the ordinary consumer have little to say in the matter, and will eventually be forced to accept the new data storage system because that will be all there is.

Intel’s Vision Of ‘The Clouds’ Future:

From my perspective, it would seem we are once again diving into uncharted waters, but there again, it won’t be the first time. I for one will test the waters thoroughly with my toe before diving in.

Roy.

A Sorry Excuse to Evade Justice

Posted in Extradition, Hacker, Hackers with tags , , , on 09/06/2009 by floroy1942

I have heard some sorry excuses put forward by defence lawyers in my time, but today is one for the record books. I refer to the case of a UK hacker called Gary Mckinnon who’s extradition has been requested by the US Government.

It is alleged that in 2000/2002 he hacked into 97 government computers, including The US Navy and NASA. This was just after 9/11, and needless to say caused a furore in government circles. It is said he caused $800,000 worth of damage to computer systems in the affected departments.

In 2002 he was arrested by British Police and has been awaiting extradition to the US, where if found guilty, he faces a prison term of 70 years.

Since his arrest he has tried every means at his disposal to quash the extradition. He has appealed to the House of Lords in Westminster and the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague, and has been turned down by every one. It seems no-one has sympathy for a hacker.

His stated reason for doing it in the first place was he was looking for evidence of UFOs. Well, I believe him, but thousands wouldn’t!

After failing to get out of extradition by all legal means, his lawyers have now turned to the next best thing, the psychological approach.

They are now saying he should be tried in the UK instead of the US because his mental state is extremely fragile. Ah! Didums! If they manage to pull that one off you can bet he would be back out of jail in a few short years.

His lawyers say; ‘there is “clear, un-contradicted expert evidence” that the stress of extradition could result in psychosis and suicide’. Two High Court Judges will be asked to rule that his psychological state makes it impossible to extradite him.

Mr. Edward Fitzgerald QC, Mckinnon’s lawyer told the judges that his clients mental state had been underestimated by the Home Secretary when she ordered him to be extradited. He went on to say that Mckinnon was “an eccentric person who has passionate views on UFOs” – not a malicious hacker – and extradition was “unnecessary, avoidable and disproportionate”. If you wish to evade a 70 year jail sentence I am sure it would be considered all of those things and more. I must say though, if I ever get another traffic ticket I might think of hiring this guy. I could always plead insanity!

It is claimed that Mckinnon suffers from Asperger Syndrome, which can mean he develops a single-minded obsession for something without thought of its affects on others. According to his solicitor he needs ‘the support of family and friends close around him all the time’.

This entire process has now been going on for 7 years since his arrest and it’s about time someone had the balls to put him on a plane and ship him out. It comes down to the same old saying: If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

It was not as if he broke into the government computers once by accident, he did it 97 times and that to me rules out any plea bargains or excuses by his lawyers.

As an everyday computer owner, I am sick and tired of the attacks perpetrated by hackers. I am tired of viruses and Trojans that infect computers world wide and cause untold misery to millions of computer owners. I am fed up with having to reload Windows because some hacker has infected my computer, and what about all the poor souls world-wide who have been fleeced out of large and small amounts of money by malicious hackers. I am sure if they had a say they would drive him to the airport!

Send Mckinnon to the States and let him rot for what he has done, and I hope every other hacker is quick to join him.

Its about time the punishment fitted the crime, rather than the hacker being employed by some security company for a grossly exaggerated salary that leaves them laughing all the way to the bank. This is one crime that does pay, and handsomely!


May all hackers burn in hell!


Roy.

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