Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: SYS-CON ITALIA, @CloudExpo

SYS-CON ITALIA: Article

Cloud Computing: Forget the Darknets, Make Way for The Dark Cloud

The term Darknet was originally coined in the 1970s to designate networks which were isolated from ARPANET

Reuven Cohen's Blog

For nearly as long as the internet has been around there have been private subnetworks called the darknets. These private, covert and often secret networks were typically formed as decentralized groups of people engaged in the sharing of information, computing resources and communications typically for illegal activities.

Recently there has been a resurgence in interest of the darknet ranging from the more unsavory such as P2P filesharing and botnets as well as more mainstream usages such as inter-government information sharing, bandwidth alliances or even offensive military botnets. All of these activities are pointing to a growing interest in the form of covert computing I call "dark cloud computing" whereby a private computing alliance is formed. In this alliance members are able to pool together computing resources to address the ever expanding need for capacity.

According to my favorite source of quick disinformation, The term Darknet was originally coined in the 1970s to designate networks which were isolated from ARPANET (which evolved into the Internet) for security purposes. Some darknets were able to receive data from ARPANET but had addresses which did not appear in the network lists and would not answer pings or other inquiries. More recently the term has been associated with the use of dark fiber networks, private file sharing networks and distributed criminal botnets.

The botnet is quickly becoming the tool of choice for governments around the globe. Recently Col. Charles W. Williamson III. staff judge advocate, Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency, writes in Armed Forces Journal for the need of botnets within the US DoD. In his report he writes " The world has abandoned a fortress mentality in the real world, and we need to move beyond it in cyberspace. America needs a network that can project power by building an af.mil robot network (botnet) that can direct such massive amounts of traffic to target computers that they can no longer communicate and become no more useful to our adversaries than hunks of metal and plastic. America needs the ability to carpet bomb in cyberspace to create the deterrent we lack."

I highly doubt the US is alone in this thinking. The world is more then ever driven by information and botnet usages are not just limited to governments but to enterprises as well. In our modern information driven economy the distinction between corporation and governmental organization has been increasingly blurred. Corporate entities are quickly realizing they need the same network protections. By covertly pooling resources in the form of a dark cloud or cloud alliance, members are able to counter or block network threats in a private, anonymous and quarantined fashion. This type distributed network environment may act as an early warning and threat avoidance system. An anonymous cloud computing alliance would enable a network of decentralized nodes capable of neutralizing potential threats through a series of counter measures.

My question is: Are we on the brink of seeing the rise of private corporate darknets a.k.a. dark clouds? And if so, what are the legal ramifications, and do they out weight the need to protect ourselves from criminals who can and will use these tactics against us?


More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lavi, a Nutanix DevOps Solution Architect, explored the ways that Nutanix technologies empower teams to react faster than ever before and connect teams in ways that were either too complex or simply impossible with traditional infrastructures.
According to the IDC InfoBrief, Sponsored by Nutanix, “Surviving and Thriving in a Multi-cloud World,” multicloud deployments are now the norm for enterprise organizations – less than 30% of customers report using single cloud environments. Most customers leverage different cloud platforms across multiple service providers. The interoperability of data and applications between these varied cloud environments is growing in importance and yet access to hybrid cloud capabilities where a single application runs across clouds remains elusive to most organizations. As companies eagerly seek out ways to make the multi cloud environment a reality, these new updates from Nutanix provide additional capabilities to streamline the implementation of their cloud services deployments.
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in multiple vertical markets. Our delegate profiles can be located in our show prospectus.
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundation of software-defined infrastructure, Nutanix has rapidly expanded into full application lifecycle management across any infrastructure or cloud .Join us as we delve into how the Nutanix Developer Stack makes it easy to build hybrid cloud applications by weaving DBaaS, micro segmentation, event driven lifecycle operations, and both financial and cloud governance together into a single unified st...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.