Wozniak’s Prediction Of “Trouble In The Cloud” Comes True Almost Immediately

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has some serious concerns about the move of users data to “the cloud.”

WASHINGTON — Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with the late Steve Jobs, predicted “horrible problems” in the coming years as cloud-based computing takes hold.

…The engineering wizard behind the progenitor of today’s personal computer, the Apple II, was most outspoken on the shift away from hard disks towards uploading data into remote servers, known as cloud computing.

“I really worry about everything going to the cloud,” he said. “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.”

He added: “With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away” through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to.

“I want to feel that I own things,” Wozniak said. “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.”

At nearly the same time he was uttering those words Mat Honan, a senior writer for Wired’s Gadget Lab, was having his digital life (much of it stored in the cloud) destroyed not by some masterful hackers, but by fairly simple social engineering that allowed a hacker to assume his Apple, Amazon, and Google identities then wipe his cloud data and his Macbook.

How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking [Wired]

The scary part is that, with the right set of circumstances, you could do it to another Mac user right now even after all the publicity.

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  • Not to be a curmudgeon, but the real problem (as Honan stated) wasn’t the cloud as much as it was the ability to remote wipe his laptop.

  • GarandFan

    And all this time I thought Mac was hack proof.

  • ackwired

    Wos does it again.

  • AndrewX

    I’m still at sea with a lot of these issues, but, to make a strange analogy, when I hear someone advocating the Cloud, I have the same feeling I had when people were trying to sell me Adjustable Rate Mortgages in 2005. First thing I said then was, “Wait a minute, the rate of re-payment is going to rise, and I don’t even know quite when or how much, or where I will be financially when it does? Am I the only one who thinks this is insane??”

    So, “The Cloud”, huh? This is supposed to offer me MORE privacy than my own hard drive? MORE reliability of access? MORE secure backing up of data? As opposed to just keeping it all on my drive (or two), and then using The Cloud all I want, as long as I assume whatever I want backed up, I had better… “back up”, and whatever I want secured, I had better keep personal control of? This sound right to you??

    Again, no expert I on mortgages or tech, but then, “experts” are notoriously willing to throw common sense overboard whenever the next shiny new toy comes along.

    • TomInCali

      Just for the record, the way you use an adjustable rate mortgage is you enjoy the lower fixed rate for a while, and then you refinance into a more attractive option before or shortly after it starts adjusting. So yeah, you’re the only one who thinks it’s insane.

      I could point out similar flaws in your assessment of the cloud. But the lesson here should be — since you admit you’re no expert on these topics — don’t assume others lack common sense just because you don’t understand.

  • jim_m

    We get a lot of questions from customers who want to avoid the expense of purchasing and maintaining their own IT infrastructure, can our software be hosted in “the cloud”? My answer is generally, “Sure. But do you want to have all your patient data in the cloud? How will that be secured? How will you verify that it is secure?” In the EU this pretty much ends their interest in a cloud system. Data security laws in the EU are far more stringent than in the US.

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