Major blow to “cloud computing”..can it recover?

By: ispeculatornew
Date posted: 07.17.2009 (5:00 am) | Write a Comment  (3 Comments)

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question-cloudCloud computing has been one of the buzz words in recent months as various companies have been putting workforce to compete. We had ourselves wrote about cloud computing as `the next big thing”. Of course, one of the major players in this arena is Google. The threat is serious enough for Microsoft to even be working on a free version of its Microsoft Office to be offered online. That is enough to convince me how seriously companies are taking this.

However, one of the more important critics made towards cloud computing is around the security involved. In a typical company, it is rather difficult for outsiders to get access to important or critical documents as they would usually need either very impressive skills to connect from a distance but usually will need to physically connect from a company pc and get the documents. It happens, but it is rare. And this week, one company got caught in a MAJOR way. It is a company that has been mentionned quite a few times; Twitter. One of the most interesting stories right now in technology. Of course, surrounding the company are many questions about how many users it truly has, how it intends to become profitable, etc.

Many of those questions have now been answered as a hacker has sent “TechCrunch” over 300 files that he gained from hacking into one of the executives emails. Among the findings are:

  • the complete list of employees
  • their food preferences
  • their credit card numbers
  • some confidential contracts with Nokia, Samsung, Dell, AOL, Microsoft and others
  • direct emails with web and showbizz personalities
  • phone numbers
  • meeting reports (very informatives)
  • internal document templates
  • time sheet
  • applicant resumes
  • salary grid (time for me to

twitterHow incredible humiliating. TechCrunch and others have since been publishing financial forecasts, infos about future plans for a tv show and a lot more is to come. No doubt, this will have many impacts on the company, all because these documents had been posted with Google’s apps. Now Google is not at fault here from what we know but there is no doubt that it will have a more difficult time selling its “cloud computing” solution. Twitter is a private company and most of these infos should never have made it in the public. Imagine those Google or Microsoft employees who have applied (without success) to work at Twitter.. they might have some interesting meetings with their bosses in the next few days.

Of course, I still believe that Cloud computing will recover and still be the next big thing. But clearly, the solutions offered currently lack security features that are necessary. By the way, Twitter did post an official response, that can be seen here. I don’t know about you, but personally I would not want my company’s documents to be one password away from being published all over the internet.

How do you feel about cloud computing after such an event??

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  1. Comment by OneDay — July 17, 2009 @ 7:06 am

    Not good for twitter…. ouchhh!

    Security is such a important aspect. But in a article I’ve read about this breaking news, the author was saying that this is not “some inherent flow within Google Apps. This is a flaw of weak passwords.” Passwords might have to be more complex and will require periodic changes….

    Cloud computing is the next big thing :p

  2. Comment by IS — July 17, 2009 @ 10:05 am

    True, but the danger of course is that with cloud computing, the hacker is only one password away..which is not the case in more traditional setups…

  3. […] what happened to Google last week. I wrote a post about how a Twitter employee had almost of his Google documents downloaded and now published online. That was a severe blow to cloud computing and thus to Google, one of the […]

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