Security usually tops the lists of concerns that people have about the cloud. And now it seems like there is good reason. On a recent survey of 100 “elite” hackers at the 2010 Defcon conferenece, 96 of them said that the cloud offered up more opportunity for them to hack. 89 of them said that they thought that cloud providers weren’t being proactive enough in beefing up their security, and 45 of them admitted to already have engaged in cloud hacking, and 12 of them said that they hack for financial gain.When asked about what areas of the cloud that they thought were most vulnerable, 21 percent said Software as a Service (SaaS), 33 percent said problems with the Domain Name System (DNS). 16 percent said that cracking the information in log files was on their list of things to hack, and 12 percent said that they’ve hacked into communication profiles.Barmak Meftah, chief products officer at Fortify, sponsor of the survey, said that “more than anything, this research confirms our ongoing observations that cloud vendors – as well as the IT software industry as a whole – need to redouble their governance and security assurance strategies when developing solutions, whether cloud-based or not, as all IT systems will eventually have to support a cloud resource.”Another highlight at the Defcon conference was a $1500 device that was able to intercept any GSM mobile phone call.
This project in Kliptown, Soweto, is one of 2.3-million funded by the government. Minister Tokyo Sexwale viewing alternative sanitation systems at the indaba. Ahmed Ahmed exhibited his solar lighting system. Hydraform produces strong bricks. (Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Vick, Spokesperson, Department of Human Settlements +27 83 556 7644 or +27 12 421 1645 RELATED ARTICLES • New homes for Soweto residents • Housing projects to curb SA slums • Urban housing success story • Social development in South AfricaBongani NkosiSouth Africa is now looking into alternative and innovative building materials to address backlogs in social housing delivery, and also to improve the quality of its products.The Department of Human Settlements hosted an indaba on 29 and 30 September in Sandton, Johannesburg, to explore new technologies that could be used for its building projects. The indaba, attended by leading business executives and research academics, was meant to find “new ideas” that are “concrete and implementable”, the department’s minister Tokyo Sexwale said.The department is addressing various faults in a number of social housing projects across the country. It has bulldozed shoddily built houses, spending billions of rands on rebuilding them.Demolishing started in the Eastern Cape in November 2009 where about 20 000 defective houses were flattened. The department also set aside R2-billion (US$287-million) to investigate “dodgy contractors” involved in corruption.As a result of inferior work, officials are forced to do comprehensive inspections on a number of ongoing projects, which is a waste of time, according to the director-general Thabane Zulu.“We should do things right from the start,” Zulu said, adding that there are extensive backlogs.The indaba saw more than 100 companies exhibiting innovative building technologies and new approaches to building. They included construction companies and developers in areas such as sanitation and solar energy.“We have to apply new technologies to build better homes,” Sexwale said.The government is looking at reasonably priced products of quality. “As we look for solutions, we should also be looking at their cost-effectiveness – searching for cheaper materials, but not compromising on quality,” said Sexwale. “The poorest of the poor deserve much better.”The alternative productsJohn Cook, MD of Nare Housing, brought his company’s steel and concrete wall surface, named the Blast Building System. Like many of the exhibited products, Cook’s new technology complements conventional bricks and mortar structures.Independent assessment company Agrément South Africa certified the product in June 2010, and Cook said they will start a project in the Eastern Cape in six weeks.It’s cheap and durable, and a house can be extended using bricks though it’s built of concrete and steel, according to Cook.“Our quality is guaranteed. In 20 years’ time a gogo [grandmother] in Phalaborwa can get a bricklayer to extend her house. I heard they are demolishing because of poor quality – but you can never demolish this.”Germany-based Surefire Group is planning to bid for subsidy housing contracts in South Africa through a local subsidiary. Surefire exhibited its double-insulated concrete structures.“It’s stronger and cheaper than bricks and mortar,” said Surefire director Freddie Seward. “This is the future of technology; bricks and mortar are the past.”The indaba also focused on environment-friendly sanitation and electrification products. Cape Town-based Ezylight, a solar power company, introduced its lighting system, Featuring a solar panel, 12 volt battery and LED lights, the system costs R1 700 ($244) and lasts a lifetime, said founder Ahmed Ahmed.“Our focus for social housing is lighting,” he said.The market for solar energy in South Africa is still “very tight” and the indaba was a “move in the right direction by the government” towards promoting the technology, Ahmed said. Ezylight has been nominated for the 2010 eta Awards, which recognise excellence in innovation and use of efficient energy.2.3 million housesSince coming to power in 1994, the incumbent government has built more than 2.3-million subsidised houses, according to Sexwale. “We’ve been building houses. This government has done better.”
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil (Reuters) – Uruguay twice came from behind to draw 2-2 against a superb Japan side in the Copa America with the help of two questionable refereeing decisions and will have to wait until their final group game to book their place in the quarter-finals. Tournament guests Japan went into the game after a 4-0 defeat to Chile while Uruguay had hammered Ecuador 4-0.But despite some early close attempts from Uruguay, Japan began to impose themselves on the game and Koji Miyoshi gave them the lead in the 25th minute with a confident finish following a counterattack.Uruguay striker Luis Suarez levelled seven minutes later from the penalty spot after a controversial decision following a VAR review. Japan defender Naomichi Ueda, who appeared to be kicked by Edinson Cavani in a dispute for the ball, was penalised to the bemusement of the Asian side.Japan’s frustrations grew after the interval when they were denied a penalty when Uruguay defender Jose Gimenez appeared to foul Shoya Nakajima, although they restored their lead shortly after without the need for a spot kick.Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera came out to claim a cross but could only palm it right into the path of Miyoshi, who pounced to put the ball into the unguarded net to score his second goal of the game. The 15-time Copa America champions equalised again seven minutes later through Gimenez, who escaped his marker to head home from a corner.Oscar Tabarez’s side went all out for a winning goal that would have sealed their place in the last eight but were repeatedly denied, with Suarez smashing a shot against the crossbar.Suarez had come close to scoring in the second minute of the game with an audacious volley from near the halfway line which skimmed the roof of the net, while Cavani clanged the crossbar with a thumping shot in the first half. Uruguay lead Group C with four points, while Japan are third with one.Second-placed Chile meet bottom side Ecuador on Friday before a showdown with Uruguay on Monday which is likely to decide who wins the group, with Japan facing Ecuador in their final game.
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