Could cloud service providers be more accountable in Steve Wozniak and Mat Honan stories? Personal computing philosophy from @stevewoz means personal ownership. Tightly coupling multiple cloud providers with same passwords a bad practice by @mat, made worse by lax password and credit card changes by the cloud provider.  More information economy literacy is called for.  The thread started in an interview.

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 todays 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 its 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 dont 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 were going to have control over it.”

Full story as “Apple co-founder Wozniak sees trouble in the cloud” | Robert MacPherson | Aug. 5, 2012 | AFP at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h1p0LVc4iFZxbWlflFGgcHhbRNCQ?docId=CNG.3dc7a79d06ad7dc82f701613531da926.671.

AFP: Apple co-founder Wozniak sees trouble in the cloud

Wozniak described his problems as a personal computing issue with an operating system upgrade and calendar on the cloud.

Not long after upgrading to Mountain Lion, one of my three primary Google calendars disappeared. It no longer existed. I have multiple Google calendars and some people have read ability while others can create events but I have the sole admin account that could have deleted a calendar. I would never do this, and checked to make sure it’s not easy. In fact, a dialog appears telling you to ok that you will lose all your events. I would never do this.

Full statement as “Why the Cloud Sucks” | Steve Wozniak | Aug. 6, 2012 | gizmodo.com at http://gizmodo.com/5932161/why-the-cloud-sucks .

Why the Cloud Sucks | Steve Wozniak | gizmodo.com

Wozniak first thought that the issue was similar to that of Mat Honan, which turned out to be more malicious.

In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.

In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz.

Had I been regularly backing up the data on my MacBook, I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing more than a year’s worth of photos, covering the entire lifespan of my daughter, or documents and e-mails that I had stored in no other location.

Those security lapses are my fault, and I deeply, deeply regret them.

But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information — a partial credit card number — that Apple used to release information. In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.

Full essay as “How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking” | Mat Honan | Aug. 6, 2012 | wired.com at http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/08/apple-amazon-mat-honan-hacking/all/.

How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking | Mat Honan | wired.com