For the longest time we’ve all been singing the praises of the Cloud, if for nothing more than the ability to access our files from anywhere. We don’t need “no” stupid hard drive, no flash drive, not any drive at all. All we need is a Username and a Password and we’re off. But now it is said that the username/password and captcha system are “broken” and we should all beware of thieves waiting to steal our “sensitive” data – and our identities. If we think of the Cloud v hackers as a marathon race between the will of Cloud-based services to protect our data and the will of hackers to override those protections, we’ll realize that even Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have their vulnerabilities. Hackers are known for their prowess at finding vulnerabilities.
By now the stories of username/password breeches are commonplace. A hacker tricks Amazon into revealing the last four digits of a tech writer’s credit card. The hacker then uses that to hack into the writer’s Apple account which contained his email address for his Gmail account – and you can see where that goes. Recently, Dropbox usernames and passwords were stolen from other websites. And that was just the latest such incident. Every online service, including Cloud storage sites, is set up with “forgiving recovery mechanisms” to accommodate forgotten passwords. And that’s just one of the issues. Right now, security experts are hard at work trying to outwit and outlast the hacking community. And until they arrive at a failsafe method, our entire digital life, from banking to credit card information to our very identities, are all vulnerable – not just from the thief next door but from around the world. What a thought?