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Cloud-Clout Offers Security From Hackers And Governments, But Beware

By - Source: Cloud-Clout

Cloud Clout is an app for Android, currently in alpha, that promises to provide 100 percent bulletproof protection of your cloud protected files against hackers, data thieves and governments.

The premise has some merit. Break apart the files into pieces, encrypt them, and then spread those pieces across multiple cloud vendors. If OneDrive is breached, they only get part of your files, and those parts are encrypted. If a government entity requests that Google provide access to your files, Google can only give them the bits and pieces of your files that they have, which is not enough to reconstruct the files entirely.

Even the map of the pieces of those files is stored on Cloud Clout servers but, like the files, is spread across multiple countries, so if Cloud Clout is forced to provide server data by a government agency for any country, the map to the files will be incomplete.

Although the technology seems to be a logical approach to dealing with government requests for accessing documents, there are still a few issues that may present a challenge for the new security app.

By abstracting the cloud services connecting together through the app, Cloud Clout may themselves become a target for hackers. Though this may seem like a way to get access to all of the data on those individual clouds, the encryption provided is not unlocked with any keys on the Cloud-Clout servers. "Even if Cloud-Clout servers would be hacked," said a Cloud-Clout representative, "only the metadata would be downloaded. The original files could not be restored, since the private key is stored only on the user device."

The "three-hands" approach requires that all three components of the service are present to unlock the files. The three components are the pieces of the files, the arranging and sequencing of how those file pieces fit together, and the decryption of those arranged pieces. If any of those three components go missing, the files are locked.

This may cause users of the service some amount of frustration if they were hoping to access their secured files from a web browser or their home PC.  For files protected by Cloud-Clout, those files are completely locked away except through a client app.
 
By bringing this type of security to cloud-based file services, Cloud-Clout is sure to catch the attention of larger, more established security companies that will bring similar solutions to market. Even the cloud providers themselves could bring a similar service to market, rendering this app unnecessary. "It's not just software, it's an idea," said Cloud-Clout to Tom's IT Pro, "and a good idea doesn't just appear one time. Security is always a real problem, and when there are more competitors, it lowers the price for the customer."

Currently, the only client for Cloud-Clout is for Android devices. If the
Cloud-Clout Kickstarter campaign is fully funded, then an iOS app will follow; desktop applications will follow after that if funding allows.

This seems to be an effective way to add a great deal of extra protection to some files that you want stored in the cloud.

But be careful about whom you trust with your data. Because until there is full support for all devices, and an easy way to connect to your Cloud-Clout files from
your PC, Mac or Linux workstations, it is not entirely safe to store your data in Cloud-Clout.

If its service were to ever go away for any reason, such as a a general failure or outage; seizure by the government agencies that they are working to shield you from; or they are not financially successful enough to stay in business and just shut the service down, then all of those files, your documents and your years of accumulation of photos, could be lost.
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