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Cloud Browsers are a Security Threat

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 6 comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon published some findings on their work with cloud browsers, which could become interesting services for anonymous web browsing.

According to William Enck, assistant professor of computer science at NC State and co-author of a paper describing the research, said that cloud browsers function just like normal web browsers, but create their interface and run all computational tasks entirely in the cloud.

The concept has attracted more interest due to the fact of increasing privacy concerns and an opportunity to provide an anonymous browsing platform. But since cloud browsers are powered by resources of data centers, the researchers found that they can be exploited to do much more than just browsing. For example, the scientists were able to "perform standard computation functions using data packets that were 1, 10 and 100 megabytes in size".

To achieve this goal, the researchers stored data packets on bit.ly and "other URL-shortening sites", and then passed the resulting "links" between various cloud browsers. The data could have been much larger," Enck said, "but we did not want to be an undue burden on any of the free services we were using."

Providers of cloud browsers could prevent the illegal exploitation of computation resources by requiring user accounts as well as service limitations, which, however, would also eliminate the advantage of anonymous web browsing.

 

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    kellybean , December 3, 2012 11:01 AM
    News Flash, anything Cloud is a security threat.
  • 10 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 3, 2012 12:04 PM
    mrmaiaCloud browsing is a threat. Cloud storage too. Cloud processing is next on line, maybe?And still IT guys keep on trying to shove this stuff down companies' throats.


    Not IT guys. Cloud corporations shove that down managers' throats and then they shove it down the IT guys' throats.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    kellybean , December 3, 2012 11:01 AM
    News Flash, anything Cloud is a security threat.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 11:08 AM
    In other news, oceans are wet
  • 8 Hide
    mrmaia , December 3, 2012 11:12 AM
    Cloud browsing is a threat. Cloud storage too. Cloud processing is next on line, maybe?

    And still IT guys keep on trying to shove this stuff down companies' throats.
  • 1 Hide
    Cryio , December 3, 2012 11:37 AM
    The only thing browser cloud based I use is Opera Link.
  • 10 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 3, 2012 12:04 PM
    mrmaiaCloud browsing is a threat. Cloud storage too. Cloud processing is next on line, maybe?And still IT guys keep on trying to shove this stuff down companies' throats.


    Not IT guys. Cloud corporations shove that down managers' throats and then they shove it down the IT guys' throats.
  • 3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , December 3, 2012 12:05 PM
    mrmaiaCloud browsing is a threat. Cloud storage too. Cloud processing is next on line, maybe?And still IT guys keep on trying to shove this stuff down companies' throats.


    Though I gotta agree, sometimes it IS the IT guys who're too lazy to maintain a clean local working IT environment. Cloud makes their job really easy, since all they have to do is make sure there's Internet connection.