Cloud vendors should take some responsibility for stolen compute, says Canalys CEO
Crypto winter also attributed to semiconductor slumps in recent quarters
Canalys Forums APAC Canalys CEO Steve Brazier has proposed that cloud vendors should have similar accountability to credit card companies when accounts are hacked and used to mine cryptocurrency.
As cryptocurrencies crashed around the world and the cost to mine the digital assets through owned equipment ate away at what value remained, miners turned to creative means to continue with their chosen profession or hobby.
"They can't afford to provide the computing power. But they can hack the public clouds," Brazier told the Canalys Forums APAC 2022 event. "They are exploiting small businesses around the world by gaining access to different people's public cloud accounts."
The analyst company's CEO detailed that the cumulative illicit use of public clouds for crypto-mining was valued at $100 million or more so far in 2022, and growing quickly. But when it comes to who is accountable for the stolen compute, public cloud providers are leaving the channel responsible for any disputes.
Brazier argued that "public cloud providers have to be responsible for the abuse of the systems they created."
It's no good to tell the customer two weeks after they've been hacked that there's a big bill and they need to pay it, that's just irresponsible. They need to offer real-time billing, they need to detect unusual activity and contact customers with fraud alerts, just like a credit card company does.
They need to have helplines. Humans answer the phone with customers panicking about how their technology has been hacked, and they need to take accountability and introduce compulsory multi-factor authentication.
The CEO called the scenario "the biggest scandal growing in the industry this year."
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But cloud computing wasn't the only tech industry affected by this year's crypto winter. Brazier said the decline in cryptocurrency values attributed to the last few quarters of bad results in semiconductors, alongside a downward slope in the PC market, is causing a "big distortion in the tech industry."
Brazier said the semiconductor industry was "very quiet about how much money they were making for crypto miners" and that not only did industry players not want to disclose the income stream, they also "took steps to try and avoid revealing that data." ®