Cloud cartography

What is cloud mapping?
Cloud mapping refers to the physical locations of hardware installations used by cloud computing service providers. Mapping the hardware of a service provider can determine the most likely locations for a virtual machine. In addition, users can generally see where the service provider is providing hardware.

While cloud mapping can help legitimate users make a cloud provider's services more efficient, critics of this type of mapping tend to point out that cloud mapping can make service providers vulnerable to some types of liability from hackers or attackers. In theory, hackers could use cloud mapping approaches to find out where virtual machines are and then create what are known as side-channel attacks.

In this type of attack, an outside party would identify a virtual machine location and then place their own co-resident virtual machines with those operated by the cloud service provider. This could lead to the exploitation of specific vulnerabilities in the software of service providers and lead to data theft or similar results.

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