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Pressure growing to give cloud attacks more legal penalities

Simon Quicke

The pressure could be mounting to redraw the legal penalties for hacking into a cloud system with the current consequences for targeting hosted data not reflecting the potential damage caused by such an attack.

Most countries currently operate on the basis treating a hack into a cloud system as equivalent to attacking a single PC but lobbying efforts from the likes of Microsoft could see that change.

According to Natalie Booth, the event director of the 360°IT show, the debate about the legal aspects of cloud computing is gathering pace.

"What we are seeing is a sea change in the way companies access and storage their data. The cloud is clearly the option of choice for a growing number of businesses, but the legal challenges this creates are a potential minefield," she said.

She added that Microsoft was leading the charge to get the law changed to reflect the current situation with its general counsel Brad Smith visiting various countries to get the situation recognised at a government level.

Booth said Smith is calling for statutory penalties to be introduced on a per-victim-basis rather than on a machine calculation.


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