PDA

View Full Version : Cloud Drives and survival


thunderbolt
09-29-2011, 2:25 PM
This probably should be in the tech forum but...

My dad and I got into an argument this last weekend over the future of media, specificly media devices. He contends that services like Pandora, Amazon's cloud drive, and any other streaming service is preferable to the old clunky way of physically storing the media on your device. I contend that it's still way too early to surrender my entire digital library to some nebulous data cloud since the technology is still in it's infancy.

What got me to thinking about it in survival terms is the new Amazon Fire plays up it's "Unlimited Cloud storage" but downplays the fact that it only has an 8Gb internal HD. I keep a select library of music, movies, books and all my survival manuals on my phone (with solar charging capability) to hedge against the likelyhood that I can't get signal while I'm camping or in the unlikely event something"bad" happens (and the first person to mention EMP is going to get an angry face.) 8Gb isn't enough. Not to mention the security aspect of it with anyone being able to monitor what you're watching/listening to ect.

So my question is am I crazy or does anyone else share my distrust of this "cloud" technology?

meaty-btz
09-29-2011, 2:35 PM
Cloud Computing as with all advanced technological solutions can only exist in an advanced culture as we have today. Any disruption to that system will result in the inaccessibility of said "cloud".

POLICESTATE
09-29-2011, 2:45 PM
Justice dept already tried to gain access to data stored on any cloud, said that a shared storage solution had no expectation of privacy therefore no warrant should be required to look at anyone's stuff. Fortunately the courts said no.

But still, it could happen, or more than likely it could get hacked. If you want to store your stuff in the cloud just bear in mind that it's not really that secure at any one time.

OTOH, I wonder if one could store a truecrypt image on the cloud?

I may have to try this.

barbasol
09-29-2011, 4:07 PM
I have all my music and photos in the cloud already. Googles cloud storage for ios devices allows you to keep a local copy on your device. My music library is way larger than my iphone could hold but with the cloud I can access any of it as long as I have a cel signal. If I will be off the grid flying, camping etc, I just download a few albums. I also keep my original copies of digital content on my laptop and backed up on external drives.

Ripon83
09-29-2011, 4:23 PM
It does not bother me to put entertainment material on a public drive (cloud) but there are things I would not want to put there and have at risk of anyone seeing. For example on a simple USB drive I have there is a complete list of my firearms and serial numbers with the names of my nephews and nieces that will some day inherit them. I don't want that on a computer or drive that is accessible to anyone. I like the ironkey.

POLICESTATE
09-29-2011, 4:42 PM
It does not bother me to put entertainment material on a public drive (cloud) but there are things I would not want to put there and have at risk of anyone seeing. For example on a simple USB drive I have there is a complete list of my firearms and serial numbers with the names of my nephews and nieces that will some day inherit them. I don't want that on a computer or drive that is accessible to anyone. I like the ironkey.

If Ironkey were to get into cloud hosting with a similar approach to security like on their thumb drives that would be an interesting thing to look into.

olhunter
09-29-2011, 5:06 PM
He mentions survival, not daily data storage.

Bad idea having your important docs and data stored on a remote server. In pretty much any survival-type situation, electricity will be first to go. If not at the server location, then anywhere along the path could mess you up. DNS servers, core routers, local routers, blah, blah...not working. Then what?

Put your stuff on some kind of external device, lock it down (TrueCrypt - awesome) and keep it with you.

I don't get businesses making the switch and relying solely on 'the cloud'. Even a local outage and you're dead in the water.

XYZ
09-29-2011, 5:53 PM
Truecrypt on an Ironkey. The issue is storage space so I still use SugarSync and Dropbox (this uses 256 bit AES data encryption which is military standard - Sugar Sync uses 128 bit). Having several options may help to preserve your data.

Check out this guys experience after Katrina. It's a very long read but really informative about data preservation.

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/ht/ht00001.html

I scanned in every photo/document imaginable - several thousand items. It took me about two months. Now it's just maintenance but everything is preserved just in case.

Neuvik
09-29-2011, 6:07 PM
If you need dedicated online storage there are a variety of companies that specialize in that all with varying degrees of cost and security. They aren’t public, negating that fear, I’d say they are relatively hack safe but what really is these days.

I’m assuming you’re trying to put up information relating to your survival and well being like bank account number, that million dollar project blue prints, gun serials, gps coordinates to your buried storage boxes; and not your music library, or some such.
Clouds don’t make too much sense if you have sensitive material or stuff you don’t want other people to see. I use it with a cheapo tower I got off craiglists, wiped it, threw on linux and joined a clound so we could use the space for some big fortran data sets we had to create and store.

Hard drives are cheap these days, I have multiples and buried a few. Family photos, music to pdf text books on energetic chemistry. Your phone storage is a good move, I think the Palm smartphones can use the large gb SDHC for your key items. I have a palm tx and it can only use 4gig ones, but I just have multiples. Back up everything.

thunderbolt
09-29-2011, 6:37 PM
For real-life emergency purposes I have redundant back ups of my more sensetive data on portable HDs and even DVD storage. All my data (almost 2 Tb worth) is backed up.

I like the idea of not having to worry about physical storage and anything I would put on a cloud drive isn't anything I'd be concerned about being seen by the general public. The problem I have with "cloud drives" is the fact that if I'm going to pay money for something, I want it to be available when and where I want it and not just when I can get Wi-fi. I never noticed how many places I can't get signal until I started playing around with a streaming service and it kinda makes me angry. Plus the fact that they are not fully under my control. Maybe I'm just being a crazy control freak but the thought of relying on a virtual drive fills me with a vauge sense of dread especially since I work in the communications industry and know exactly how bad it is when a node out in BFE fails knocking out your circuit connectivity.

olhunter
09-29-2011, 6:42 PM
Here's something else to think about -

You can put your docs in a password protected zip file and then put that zip container into another protected zip file. Zips can be cracked, but if use 15 character (or more) pw's on both, and don't use words or anything easy, their brute-force attack will take a loooong time. If the first is cracked, they will not see any descriptive file names, just another zip container. Then they have to crack that.

I only go 3 levels, but you could do it as many times as you want.

Then email that to yourself. If you ever get stranded somewhere and need your stuff and the Internet is working, you have them. And if someone hacks your email account, they still don't have your stuff. Just some locked zips.

You could do that on any cloud storage service you want and your files would be relatively secure, even if it's hacked or turned over to the goobermint.

I figure I could show up naked at an embassy in some foreign country and still have access to a copy of my passport and other ID.

Oh, don't forget your passwords. lol...

loose_electron
09-29-2011, 7:02 PM
multiple copies kept in multiple locations and regular backups

HDD's do fail, cloud servers? eh, not for me, although the technology is not anything new its been used in the business world for many years - if its got to move around w/me I am always carrying a USB memory stick. 16GB in my pocket is sufficient for that.

automatikdonn
09-29-2011, 7:16 PM
If you feel like just letting some nameless faceless company handle your vital data... sure... Not me, I like pens, and paper...

And cloud drives drive down the prices of hard drives for those of us who still want "limited" data. I have 6TB of storage and 2 are taken... I guess when i get close i will go spend another 60 bucks on a drive.

slam128
09-29-2011, 7:29 PM
The cloud is only as good as your internet connection to it. If your ISP is down or wifi/ 3G connection is down or slowed by hammered bandwidth, you will not have any access to your data. What if you're at at location without any internet connections like camping or even on an airplane? Your weakest link is your connection!

Sony is a gigantic corporation with a huge IT department, yet it was hacked not once, but twice! Imagine a smaller company who considers storing information outside of their network to be managed right next to data from other companies? If your data is stored on some cloud somewhere along with other company's data, it's almost like a sitting target waiting for someone to attack. No thanks!

stix213
09-29-2011, 7:44 PM
Nothing wrong with storing data on cloud storage if two things are satisfied:

1) You have no need for said data during an emergency
2) You have no reason to hide said data from prying eyes

OHOD
09-29-2011, 8:53 PM
This thread was interesting to read, because I had no clue of what "cloud storage" was.
So I was thinking, scratching my noggin and came up with an idea....Google!

Now I know what "cloud storage" is.

To answer your question, I will go with a famous quote everyone knows:
"It's not a secret if you tell someone else."

Therefore, if cloud storage is provided by a third party, then nothing is a secret.
Also, who is to say that the third party, even multiple third parties will not be able to retrieve your data when SHTF or TEOTWAWKI or any other major problem?

But, meh, :shrug: what do I know.

oddball
09-29-2011, 9:52 PM
For a SHTF situation, the last thing on my mind are mp3 files of songs and movies.

I have a Kingston DataTraveler flashdrive that stores my important business documents, scanned PDF copies of personal documents, family photos, etc.

All ready to go sitting with my Get Out of Dodge stuff.

xrMike
09-30-2011, 12:10 PM
I don't think people realize how fragile the internet is. There are so many points of failure. In a societal meltdown, even if temporary, you've got the power grid, all of that infrastructure, and the employees who won't be coming to work to maintain it...

Same thing for cell phones.

16 GB thumb drives are so cheap now.

Ripon83
09-30-2011, 12:43 PM
Not to mention our government wanting to turn it off when they feel it's necessary. Which probably would correspond to when you want your files the most.

echo1
10-10-2011, 8:46 AM
I have vinyl, photographs, charts, and compass. I'm clueless about it all. My crew calls me the "Analog Warrior". They can use all the media and store a bunch of stuff for me. PAX

wjc
10-10-2011, 4:04 PM
I work for one of the major players in the cloud push. All it boils down to is shared storage and shared applications. There is no great breakthrough except for decreased cost of having your own data center.

Plus...people you don't even know now have access to your personal correspondence!

I'll never use it for anything of importance.

paul0660
10-10-2011, 4:18 PM
MvgN5gCuLac

ExtremeX
10-10-2011, 5:17 PM
I love how loose the term Cloud is used in today's tech world. Cloud has turned into a marketing term, just like Tactical.


In a nut-shell and in its most simplistic form, Cloud = Internet.


1st off, Not all cloud storage is created equal. Just like a home server with a raid array, Internet storage isn't any different. Its managed by a 3rd party and is subject to the same risks as any other data storage device. Some may be on an high grade enterprise SAN (storage area network), some of it may be replicated over a WAN to other sites for redundancy. Regardless of how you chop it up, your data is only as safe and secure as the data center its sitting in. For all you know it could be some punk kid with a few TB of rack storage in his garage offering free Cloud storage and opening up file shares looking at ur girls nudy photos or personal data... What makes you think someone at Google or MS cant do this?


I manage a server room for a small company and have our own private cloud. This data is still accessible from anywhere in the world, over encrypted VPN unlike most public cloud storage. This is the biggest difference, we still own the data, the servers it sits on, and everything else. We also have block level replication to our second office, the purpose for this is geographical diversity of the data. Not much good if a meteor hits your free amazon cloud storage data center and that data isn't replicated. Replication cost money, I doubt free solutions offer this level of protection. I know some do, for a price.


If you want to be in control of your data, you need to own it or be in control of it. If security is a concern, then use cloud storage, but don't expect to have access to it in the event of a catastrophic infrastructure failure, power outage, ISP downtime, or whatever ever else can and may happen. The Internet is fragile, as another member said, and your cloud storage is only as good as your weakest point in the chain.


In regards to security, I saw two options here I personally use myself. Ironkey and Truecrypt (open source encryption). If you ever need to upload private data onto storage you don't own, you best bet is to create a container in Truecrypt and use keyfiles + a password that is complex. The Ironkey is cool, but Truecrypt offers a higher level of encryption.


Password protecting a zip file is just pointless... ultra weak security with a false sence of security. The average Joe can bust that open in no time. How do you think professional password recovery companies do it? There not a magic breed of hackers. Just someone willing to spend $100 on software. http://www.elcomsoft.com/archpr.html

crazy
10-10-2011, 8:05 PM
Justice dept already tried to gain access to data stored on any cloud, said that a shared storage solution had no expectation of privacy therefore no warrant should be required to look at anyone's stuff. Fortunately the courts said no.

But still, it could happen, or more than likely it could get hacked. If you want to store your stuff in the cloud just bear in mind that it's not really that secure at any one time.

OTOH, I wonder if one could store a truecrypt image on the cloud?

I may have to try this.

I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this was going to come up.

sl4ck3r
10-10-2011, 8:59 PM
I think cloud storage is great for backup, but I wouldn't use it as my only source for information. Single point of failure == bad.

I use truecrypt for important confidential stuff. I have drives in a Raid 0 and also copies to an external HD. Then it backs up to CrashPlan's servers (including the truecrypt volume). From what I understand the data is encrypted before it is sent to CrashPlan so that should help on security as well. http://www.crashplan.com/consumer/security.html