SpyCloud: Intelligence is about to keep its secrets in the clouds

Original author: Lena Groeger, Wired
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Dropbox for files, Google for mail, iCloud, well ... for everything else!
The average citizen has all the options for storing his information in the cloud. Now, and spies want the same thing. Soon, all the secrets of our country will be able to be stored in a “fairly cloudy foggy” form.

In-Q-Tel , the CIA's investment department and the U.S. intelligence community, have recently begun to “pour” money into a cloud storage company called Cleversafe . As stated by the CIA, the platform is ideal for storing critical data, addressing the basic principles of confidentiality, integrity and accessibility of data. (By the way, the CIA also stated these principles).

And these are just one of many new government initiatives to use “cloud services”. Since last year, the US administration has adopted a “cloud first” policy (literally “cloud first” ), which encourages cloud-based solutions, “whenever a safe, reliable and cost-effective cloud option exists”. The Pentagon is already planning to switch to cloud technologies, and the expected in the next few weeks, the "Cloud Computing Act 2011" (2011 Cloud Computing Act) may give rise to even more incentive to invest in cloud technology.

But this upward movement brings with it all sorts of security concerns, especially for the CIA, which is still suffering from the recenthacking their public website . While there was a loud debate over the security of cloud-based storage methods against more traditional forms of storage, Cleversafe was confident that the data would be safe with them. And this is good, because the government would like to prevent the “next Bradley Manning” merging all their secrets into WikiLeaks.

CEO of Cleversafe , Chris Gladwin (by Chris Gladwin) , a Chicago software developer with a focus on cryptography, says that the safest method of cloud storage has been known for a long time. First written on 1979 paper, How to Share a Secret methodsimple enough: “Take some information, then pass it through certain mathematical algorithms, dividing it into heaps of pieces of source data that mean nothing individually.”

Similar to this method, the technology of "dispersal of information" is used, Cleversafe take massive amounts of data, cut them into pieces and then distribute the storage at different locations, or "storage nodes". Although data can be located in four different data centers across the country, it can be accessed in real time from “separate clouds”. And unlike traditional storage methods, there is no need to make several copies of the source data, which saves space and money.

According to Chris GladwinThere are several more advantages of this type of data storage. Firstly , this is confidentiality, individual pieces of data cannot be decrypted by themselves, even if an unauthorized person received several such parts. Secondly - it is reliable, even if any of the disks on which one of the pieces lies was damaged, dropped offline, or simply lost, there is a high probability that the entire file can be restored from the existing parts. It is unlikely that 10 servers or drives fail at the same time.

In-Q-Tel is confident that Cleversafe "will provide our customers in the intelligence community with powerful distributed storage capabilities that provide the levels of unsurpassed reliability they require."
Since the state budget for IT allocated in the USA contains a little bit more than $ 20 billion for the development of cloud technologies, we will see how it is likely that soon other structures will follow the same direction.

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