Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fraud-as-a-service: Did Criminals Invent Cloud Computing?

I was just reading an article on Zdnet Asia on what they're calling a new Fraud-as-a-service. The article describes how criminal organization are now opening up computer crime to people with no technical expertise through easy to use self-service "botnets" for as little as $299 USD a month.

I hate to tell you this, it wasn't Amazon, IBM or even Sun who invented cloud computing. It was criminal technologists, mostly from eastern Europe who did. Looking back to the late 90's and the use of decentralized "warez" darknets. These original private "clouds" are the first true cloud computing infrastructures seen in the wild. Even way back then the criminal syndicates had developed "service oriented architectures" and federated id systems including advanced encryption. It has taken more then 10 years before we actually started to see this type of sophisticated decentralization to start being adopted by traditional enterprises.

Uri Rivner, Speaking at the RSA Conference 2008 in London, laid the opportunity bare, revealing how fraudsters offered botnet networks as a subscription service with patching and upgrades thrown in. These networks could be tailored to infect other users' computers with malware, or to launch massive distributed denial of service attacks designed to take down computer systems. Provided as a low cost monthly service.

What's scary about the rise of Fraud-as-a-service is now those jackass'es who spend there time bad mouthing you or your business on their blog, have the power to actually cause real damage. Network centric warefare has now been given to any asshole with a computer and internet connection. In this new world order, cloud computing will not just be a requirement for scaling your data center but also protecting it.

Basically these crime syndicates are doing what they've always done best, innovating for the purposes of screwing the rest of us out of our hard earned money.This isn't anything new, just a lot scarier.

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