A proof of concept (2010) - no more maintained!
Keep your data and your programs in your pocket; use them on every
computer you find without worrying about letting around some
unwanted logs and without giving away your data security
The project has been developed by:
- Gianluca Moro: main system integrator - see his home page and
- Antonio Moro: tester and web-promoter
Do you want to have your computer and your data in your pocket?
Do you want an online automatic backup?
Do you want to protect your data security and privacy from unauthorized access?
Keep reading - this could be YOUR solution:
- a USB key containing your operating environment and your data - a protected folder so nobody can access you data, even if you lost the key - a backup program which keeps a copy of your data on an online disk, with double password protection - ... and everything for FREE!
It would be nice to have always a laptop with us, but so small to stay in our
pockets! But why do we need the entire laptop hardware? As a matter of fact we just
need our software and our data!
This can be easily done with an USB key, whose storage capacity
is sufficient to keep both programs and data, but this solution has
2 main problems:
- to execute your programs you need a computer (easy to find) but you have to install your programs, or you could leave some unwanted log in the computer you use, or the computer could have some sort of spyware installed ... you do not know exactly what you are using - having your data always with you can enhance the possibility you lose your data and/or, even more dangerous, someone can see and use them!
Can we solve both problems? Of course!
The solution is the use of freely available technologies based on free software, so we know how our data are managed, and to integrate them in a portable, flexible, powerful device: the CloudUSB!
The technologies CloudUSB integrates are well known, as to say, they are tested and secure: our team has integrated them to answer a very important question: how do I get my data with me, in a secure way?
In details we use:
- The linux operating systems (now we use Ubuntu, you can call this CloudU(S)Buntu :-), but the components are standard), installed on a USB key: it is a bootable key, you just need to find a PC to use your environment without modifying anything on the host PC, nor letting down any log or sentitive information.
Linux is a very customable system and you can customize it to meet your needs.
- The EncFS module to secure your sensitive data with AES - Advanced Encryption Standard or BlowFish, so your data will be protected both in the usb key (if you lose it) and in the remote online backup storage!
- An online backup solution: now we use Dropbox services, as the client is multi-platform, but you can use any simular service.
All the technologies are freely available, and Dropbox services are free (up to 2G storage): so you can test the solution!
If you need some other personalizations, you can always contact our team.
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdx1 * 1 489 1643012 b W95 FAT32 /dev/sdx2 490 1166 2274720 83 Linux
Data privacy is a very serious problem: it is very easy to
consider some information not so meaningful to keep them
reserved, but you must remember that when you put some
data on line you never know where it will be
used, who will store them, for how long, and how many
times it will be duplicated.
We can say that when you put your data on line, you lose control of it!
This is a good reason to be cautious when dealing with your personal data: but what do we mean with privacy?
We mean the control on data access: just the owner must be able to access to her/his data, and show it to other people if (s)he desires.
This is easy with concrete objects, but much more difficult with digital data, whose duplication is very easy.
The standard solution to protect the privacy is to use cryptography;
you can have an idea on
Wikipedia: a method to make your data unavailable to
Internet and today widespread connectivity possibilities have
make very easy and useful the data spreading all over the
world with the obvious advantage of having it available
But which is the missing concept in this scenario? It is the control point idea!
Whenever we assist to major (or minor) revolutions there are a lot of new things, different things, or thing that are used differently. The first reaction is the fear to be overwhelmed by the new ideas and technology, to have no control on what is going on and to refuse everything.
It's obviously a wrong approach: new ideas can be managed by noting the essence of what we think is a problem, and when we have it clear, the solution will be at hand.
The problem of data uncontrolled spread is the control point! Who controls my data?
The problem is not having data spread all over the world, but having control of it. This is an obvious observation, but a very effective one.
One can put his data on remote servers, but keep the control of it, not by some uncertain "Legal Agreement" but keeping technically the data available only to authorized persons.
The solution proposed by CloudUSB exploits just this simple idea: data is crypted using the state of the art technologies. This means that only the person with the correct password can access to the data.
When this has been assured, the data can be stored everywhere and we are sure that the control point is in our USB stick which will be a key to access the data. A key which will make easy to access the data, but not the only key: one can duplicate his key, both on other USB stick or personal computer, or create a new key when necessary, with the only requirement to know the correct password!
CloudUSB presents a solution to guarantee data security and privacy
based on Open Source. We suppose everyone knows what Open Source is,
anyway you can find a definition here.
How can Open Source contribute to security and privacy? Well, we'd rather say that only Open Source can grant Security and Privacy, if we want verify the applied technical solution!
Open Source guarantees the access to the source, so everyone can verify what the software does, or can hire someone to check it!
With an Open Source Solution you can technically verify the status of your Security and Privacy!
Another very useful feature of Open Source is that you have a world wide community which is checking the software, so, for example, you can be sure that cryptographic algorithms are checked over and over!
Gianluca Moro - firstname.lastname@example.org