Wozniak sees "horrible problems" with the cloud

Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak isn’t exactly bullish about the overhyped cloud. 

“I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years,” Wozniak recently told reporters in a statement quoted by News.com.au.

“With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away… [Personally], I want to feel that I own things. A lot of people feel, ‘Oh, everything is really on my computer,’ but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”

Wozniak’s concerns about the cloud were illustrated this past weekend when 
Wired writer and former Gizmodo journalist Mat Honan confirmed that his iCloud account had been hijacked, allowing hackers to wipe his iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air. 

“At 4:50 PM, someone got into my iCloud account, reset the password and sent the confirmation message about the reset to the trash. My password was a 7 digit alphanumeric that I didn’t use elsewhere. When I set it up, years and years ago, that seemed pretty secure at the time. But it’s not,” Honan wrote in a blog post.

“The backup email address on my Gmail account is that same .mac email address. At 4:52 PM, they sent a Gmail password recovery email to the .mac account. Two minutes later, an email arrived notifying me that my Google Account password had changed. At 5:00 PM, they remote wiped my iPhone, at 5:01 PM, they remote wiped my iPad and at 5:05, they remote wiped my MacBook Air. A few minutes after that, they took over my Twitter. Because, a long time ago, I had linked my Twitter to Gizmodo’s they were then able to gain entry to that as well.”

Honan also noted that Apple tech support was working on recovering data from his MacBook. Fortunately, the wipe was stopped by powering down before it got far enough along to start over-writing, so Honan says he remains hopeful.

“Via AppleCare, I was able to confirm the hacker’s account of how he got access to my account. I have an email in to Tim Cook and Apple PR, and want to give them a chance to respond (and make changes). I want to give the company a little more time to look at its internal processes, but should be as simple as a policy change. 

“So far, I haven’t received any acknowledgement from Apple corporate. I did, however, get an urgent call from AppleCare ten minutes after emailing Mr. Cook, informing me that my situation had been escalated and there is now only one person at Apple who can make changes to my account. So I gather corporate is aware of what happened and looking into how to most effectively respond to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he added.