Steve Wozniak Condemns Cloud Computing In Wake Of Gizmodo Hacking Scandal
Steve Wozniak, the fabled computer engineer who co-founded Apple Inc. with Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne, has always been heralded as one of smartest minds in Silicon Valley. His contribution early Apple computers cemented his legacy as one of the greatest minds of personal computer revolution.
"I really worry about everything going to the cloud," Wozniak reportedly said at a recent performance of "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" in Washington DC. "I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."
"I want to feel that I own things," he added. "A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it."
Wozniak recently expanded on his public condemnation of cloud computing when he wrote a column for Gizmodo titled "Why The Cloud Sucks." In the article, Wozniak brings readers through a short story about how one of his primary Google calendars was deleted shortly after upgrading to Mountain Lion. Wozniak was able to restore some of the scheduled events in his calendar from an old backup, but he says that it caused a huge problem in his agenda.
The article came in the wake of Mat Honan, who is a senior report for Gizmodo and a former contributing editor to WIRED, having his iCloud account hacked. "So maybe you saw my Twitter going nuts tonight. Or you saw Gizmodo's Twitter account blow up. Or you saw this in AllThingsD. Or this in the DailyDot," wrote Honan on his personal blog. "Although embarrassing, Twitter was the least of it. In short, someone gained entry to my iCloud account, used it to remote wipe all of my devices, and get entry into other accounts too."
"I still can't get into Gmail. My phone and iPads are down (but are restoring). Apple tells me that the remote wipe is likely irrecoverable without serious forensics. Because I'm a jerk who doesn't back up data, I've lost at more than a year's worth of photos, emails, documents, and more. And, really, who knows what else," added Honan. "It's been a shitty night."
Wozniak thinks that cloud are risking having a similar experience to Honan until legislation is made to guarantee that cloud storage providers backup lost data. "Regulation is the only way we'll own a bit of what we trust to the cloud. I believe that regulation applies to banks and that money lost due to no fault of your own is replaced, at least for large amounts. Why not for the cloud, as well?" writes Woz in his Gizmodo article.
Whether you're using cloud storage options or not, most security experts agree that creating unique, long passwords can be the best defense against hackers. It's also important to keep password information off of the internet (i.e. - do not save an email with all of your passwords), just in case any of your accounts are compromised. If there's one thing to take from all this talk, it's this: we could all use stronger passwords and better data backup systems.
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