With so many new advances and innovations coming about because of the Cloud, customers and businesses alike want to insure that their data is free from any outside access. Cloud security is becoming a major issue as more people are moving towards this technology of remote access. With such intense attention, one group of researchers have identified a possible security oversight that could leave data wide open for intrusion and other malicious activities.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have been wrestling to understand possible security threats to Cloud technologies. One such security threat involves manipulating memory as data is read to and from servers providing the Cloud access. What these researchers at MIT proposed was that memory transferred between physical hardware could be a potential risk for allowing hackers to discover what kinds of workloads and other data are being processed on the servers. MIT developed a response to this problem and called it Ascend.
Reported from GigaOM: "Ascend does a few things to minimize the likelihood that a cyber attack could ascertain information from the transmission of data to and from memory. First off, it proposes a novel way of querying memory addresses for data...whenever a chip asks a single memory address for data, Ascend switches around the address with some other memory address."
What this says about Ascend is how the design alters the pattern of memory requests. Ascend is designed around thwarting attackers by confusing what information if any they can derive from the memory addresses and request times.
The Ascend technology is still being developed, but many of the researchers at MIT hope that it will implemented soon within Cloud systems.
The Cloud is now a major player in online technologies. More people and companies are moving towards the technology because of its dependability, accessibility, and ease of use. With its young age, many of security vulnerabilities of the Cloud are not yet well known. This problem gave a challenge to some at MIT who proposed a new system called Ascend that is designed to disrupt any attacker's attempt to extort data from memory of the Cloud servers.