Feeds

Security guru: You can't blame EDWARD SNOWDEN for making US clouds LOOK leaky

And anyway, people AREN'T switching away

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Infosec 2014 Accusations that the revelations from rogue National Security Agency sysadmin whistleblower Edward Snowden have damaged the US technology industry are misplaced, according to influential security guru Mikko Hypponen.

Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, said that the disclosure that US tech was either "booby-trapped or monitored" may have had a damaging effect on the US cloud industry. But blaming this on Snowden was misplaced and akin to "blaming Al Gore for global warming".

Snowden's action represented the single largest leak of top secret information in history. "Top secret information almost never leaks and that's why the Snowden leak was extraordinary", according to Hypponen. All the information leaked by Private Manning, by contrast, was classified either secret or below.

During a keynote speech on whistle-blowing, Hypponen told delegates to the Infosec conference that while wanting to believe that Snowden was a selfless hero, some of the circumstances of the case troubled him. For example the initial leaks were on 5 June 2013, two days before US president Barack Obama was due to meet face to face with his Chinese counterpart to discuss cyber-espionage. The timing might have been a coincidence but it couldn't have come at a good time for the US side, according to Hypponen.

The security guru, a vocal critic of the NSA, added: "The whole timeline of the leaks bothers me."

At any rate, it appears that the outcry in Europe and further afield over privacy has not had much effect. Europe continues to use US tech services from the likes of Microsoft and Google even after revelations about the NSA's dragnet surveillance programmes, and this is because it has no choice, the security expert told the crowd at Infosec in London.

The European tech industry has failed to produce viable alternatives, he claimed. Even in cases where a tech firm makes it big - such as Skype - these firms get bought by Microsoft or other US tech giants, Hypponen concluded. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.